Now Is Always the Only Moment

MarilynDavisatTIERSStarred Page By MarilynDavisatTIERS, 10th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Personal Development>Self-awareness

“Few of us ever live in the present. We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone.” ― Louis L'Amour“

How Do You Spend Your Time?

Louis L’Amour, an American author known primarily for his western novels, sums up the dilemma of most people today. We spend countless hours reflecting on the past or projecting into the future. What happens when we are not present in each moment?

We cannot participate in this moment if we are not mentally and emotionally present.

Repeatedly Reliving the Past

While I advocate for reviewing our past to determine patterns of behaviors, to spend too much time in the past squanders the present.

A simple mindfulness technique that works for me is to allocate a specific amount of time each day to reflect on that day. A quick assessment of my day includes asking the following questions:

• Have I been appreciative of blessings during the day?
• Have I been caring, compassionate and understanding in dealing with people?
• Have I done one random act of kindness?
• Have I operated from a self-defeating behavior and do I need to make amends?
• Have I used every opportunity presented to me during the day to act from positive aspects?
• Have I used my time wisely?
• Have I accomplished my sub-goals for that day?
• Have I valued the opportunities presented to me that day?

Answering these simple questions can help me see if I have been present in each moment of that day.

I Make Appointments with Myself

For instance, I set a sub-goal to write 500 words per day, whether I published them or not. My motive for this was to just write and continue learning the craft of writing. I also wanted to become a tighter more concise writer. I know that people do not always have time to read my usually lengthy TIERS materials on addiction.

Therefore, if I want to educate people about addiction and recovery, I must consolidate the information, still be educational and informative, just less bloated as the author, Stephen King, calls his sometimes lengthy writing.

What works for me is to block out time each day for this purpose. I value it and make it important, however, my appointment schedule is not posted on some social media so there are times that people call during my write time.

Life Interrupts My Schedule

What happens if my schedule of activities is interrupted and I cannot write at my usual time? Do I resent the interruptions? Do I get stressed that I have not followed my predetermined plan for the day? Do I take it out on someone who might need someone to listen to them?

No, I double up the following day, take part in the interruptions, and am present in them.

Forecasting the Future

Whether prompted from runaway fears, or a form of mistrust, too many people forecast negative outcomes for relationships, jobs, career choices, economics and the like. They spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the future.

Most people, in turn, either forecast doom and gloom or are pessimistic about their expectations and situations yet to come, or are optimistic. If you wonder if you are an optimist or a pessimist, look to see how you thought something would turn out.

I am reminded of a story about two little boys who saw a psychiatrist. One was eternally optimistic and the other pessimistic and the harbinger of doom. As brothers, both raised in the same environment, you would assume that they would have similar outlooks on life; however, they were very different in their approach to outcomes and life.

The psychiatrist took the first brother to a door. Opening the door, the boy found every conceivable electronic device a young child would enjoy. Shelves full of games, tables stacked with books, art supplies, and other toys. He glumly looked at the psychiatrist and said, “Looks good, but there are probably no batteries, no electric outlets or time to read or play.”

The second brother opened his door and saw three feet of shit. Jumping up and down and beaming up at the psychiatrist he said, “Wow, get me a shovel, I bet there’s a pony buried underneath.”

This Too Shall Pass

There are going to be times that we are depressed, saddened, lonely, or fearful. Denying them is not going to help the situation; however, staying stuck in the moment and fueling it will only make it grow.

To stay in the moment when it is negative, simply acknowledge it and then look for something within the experience to value:

• Is it a reminder to be grateful for other things in life?
• Is it part of an ongoing pessimistic pattern?
• Is it an Anniversary Issue?
• Is it part of a pattern of thinking?
• Is this a reminder to stop speculating on tomorrow and find value in today?
• Is this a reminder that expectations are unrealistic?

Mindful Moments

Being mindful is like any other craft we practice. We falter, and then succeed. We forget to remember. We get complacent.

We forget to value this moment forgetting that our world is ever evolving, revolving and changing. Without being too cliché, we will never have this exact moment and circumstances again, and if we are not experiencing it as it is happening, we will have missed this opportunity.

Staying in this moment and enjoying it, learning from it, not dismissing it, and savoring it can give life a richness it might be lacking.

Try it, get the shovel, and find the enthusiasm for today.



For additional articles by Marilyn Davis

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Credits: All images: www.pixabay.com

Tags

Living Each Day, Living For Today, Living In The Moment, Living In The Now, Living In The Present, Optimist, Pessimist, Savoring The Moments

Meet the author

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
A Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist, with 25 years of abstinence-based recovery. I write about addictions, recovery, life lessons and general writing tips.

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Comments

author avatar M G Singh
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Excellent post

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Good afternoon, Madan; thank you very much for the kind comment. I appreciate it. ~Marilyn

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Good afternoon, Steve; thanks for quick moderation and star. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Jerry Walch
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Hi Marilyn. I love your opening quote from Louis L'Amour. Best known for his
people? I've always thought that he was best known for his westerns...was I wrong. I mean I know that he wrote science fiction, poetry, short story collections, and nonfiction, but he wrote over 117 western novels.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Good afternoon, Jerry, the sentence reads "Louis L’Amour, an American author known primarily for his western novels, sums up the dilemma of most people today." He was an author my Dad read, so was somewhat familiar with him. Thanks for the comment. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Sergii
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Great post.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Good afternoon, Gergii; thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate both. ~Marilyn

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
10th Feb 2014 (#)

You must be a very organized man both in thought and actions. Hats off to you.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Good afternoon, GV. I cannot take any credit for being a man. However, I will own attempting to be an organized woman. :) ~Marilyn

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author avatar redrose2
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Enjoyed the post. My husband reads Louis L Amour. I bought him several old copies of the books at antique shop my sister and I visited.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Good evening, Redrose; old book stores and antique stores are some of my favorite haunts. Thanks for the comment. ~Marilyn

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
10th Feb 2014 (#)

in reality there is only NOW..for we cannot live in the future or the past and if we go there through our thoughts we are out of context with NOW...thank you Marilyn for this...

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Good evening, Carolina. After I wrote the post on thinking, I thought we should all get back to reality. There is only now as you point out. Thanks for the comment. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Mariah
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Really meaningful post Marilyn, the past often clouds the present, and you are so right, we should live in the moment, taking on each new day with enthusiasm for life in general.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Good evening, Mariah; the past can certainly cloud our present. I have multiple Anniversary Issues in February and have to be mindful of them. Thanks for the comment. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Tranquilpen
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Off course, you are so very right, I loved all of it. Thank you for sharing.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
11th Feb 2014 (#)

Good evening, Trahquilpen; haven't seen you in some time. Thanks for reading and commenting. ~Marilyn

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author avatar spirited
11th Feb 2014 (#)

A very nice post Marilyn that brings this idea of living in the now way past just the philosophical idea of it, making it real for us, by your practical examples.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
11th Feb 2014 (#)

Good evening, Spirited; thanks. I think I relate more to a concept when I am given examples so just wrote it from that perspective. Glad it was helpful to you as well. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
11th Feb 2014 (#)

A one of a kind psot and full of interesting facts, thank you Marilyn!

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
11th Feb 2014 (#)

Good evening, Fern. Thanks for a kind comment. You know I appreciate them :) ~Marilyn

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Feb 2014 (#)

Ouch! This one hits too close to home as I feel my life now is nothing BUT distractions and waiting. I will try -- but sometimes tied hands are just tied hands. Sharing.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
12th Feb 2014 (#)

Good morning, Phyl, yes, you have a lot going on. It is more about simply participating in what is in front of us....tried looking at the knots on your tied hands? You and I will write about the distractions and waiting and eventually put it into an article, so I figure most of the experiences can prove useful in the bigger picture. Thanks. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
13th Feb 2014 (#)

yes. ;) absolutely!

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author avatar M G Singh
12th Feb 2014 (#)

Nice post with a vast horizon

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
12th Feb 2014 (#)

Good morning, Madan; thank you for commenting. I think it has application for many of us. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Delicia Powers
12th Feb 2014 (#)

Fantastic...I could not agree more...

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
13th Feb 2014 (#)

Good morning, Delicia; the view outside my window mimics some of Mike's photo's. Snowed in so will write today. This Now Moment is just white and cold. Thanks for the comment. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
13th Feb 2014 (#)

Today is the yesterday we will remember tomorrow, dear Marilyn ....that is a line from one of my earlier posts , and the truth is , time is constantly moving on , so we need to relish the moment as we cannot bring back even a second of the past , nor borrow an instant from tomorrow ..only the now exists ..
God bless you today and always
Stella ><

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
13th Feb 2014 (#)

Good afternoon, Stella; very well put. It is only this moment that we have and the choices we have in how to use it or lose it and the opportunities forever. Thanks for commenting. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Retired
18th Feb 2014 (#)

"We cannot participate in this moment if we are not mentally and emotionally present." That could be why my lovely wife often tells me I'm "not in". I admit I do tend to live in my head a lot. But, it is my sanctuary, the only place that is entirely mine. well, until the thought police come knocking on the door. Not worried about that too much, though. If I can't understand what I am thinking, I'm sure it will confuse them too. Great post, Marilyn.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
18th Feb 2014 (#)

Good morning, Mike, yes, that is why your wife comments as she does :) My friends just say, "Shiny" if I'm lost in thought so it happens to all of us. I am just trying to be more mindful of what is happening at that moment and participating. I do not let the thought police in without a warrant. Standard procedure. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Retired
18th Feb 2014 (#)

The warrant, yes I must remember that. Hopefully the thought police won't see me thinking. I am trying to give it up but it has been a long term addiction. If I stop thinking I could get that cold turkey thing.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
18th Feb 2014 (#)

Good morning, Mike. They do patrol, so I just try to look bored and uninteresting, usually keeps them away :) ~Marilyn

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author avatar Retired
18th Feb 2014 (#)

I look like that anyway. I'm safe!!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
20th Feb 2014 (#)

Reminding to live in the present is never overdone, great post Marilyn. Past hurts do revisit us but we have to swat them away! And future worries are also a constant companion. Let us savor the past and hope the best is yet to be, but never forget to live the present! siva .

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
20th Feb 2014 (#)

Good morning, Siva; it is certainly not easy to stay in the present, as you point out. I appreciate you adding to the discussion and article. ~Marilyn

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