Living in the Moment

By on May 23, 2013

“Live in the moment, for each of us is precious and not to be squandered.” ~ God on a Harley, Joan Brady

We’ve all heard quotes such as this one—but do we really get the message? It sounds good. We might think about it for a few minutes. But then we revert back to comfortable patterns of thinking.

What does “living in the present” mean? Can a mere moment impact your relationships with the special people in your life?

Consider what you talk about with your spouse. Frequently such discussions involve what is going to happen at some time in the future or what did happen not too long ago. Take an inventory of these conversations, and see for yourself what they are focused on.

By living in the past or future, many things in the present go unnoticed: a blazing red sunset, a warm summer breeze, brilliant fall foliage, fragrant spring flowers, falling snowflakes, and a smile on your child’s face. For example, a friend of mine on vacation talked to me on her cell phone about how much she liked the vacation spot. Mostly she talked about needing to come back to it one day. What she missed was that she was already there. Unfortunately, she couldn’t live in that moment and enjoy what was happening right then.

To try to change this pattern, try this exercise. Make a list for one day of all the things around you. Write down everything: the smell of coffee brewing, the playful sounds of kids talking with their siblings, your spouse’s clothing that day, and the weather outside. List everything you see, hear, and touch that day.  Then at night, after the day is coming to a close, share this list with your partner. Point out which things you never had noticed before. Talk with each other about how this exercise made you feel.

Our lives are enriched when we become more fully aware. Social psychologist Ellen Langer explains it this way: “When we’re there at the moment, making it new, it leaves an imprint in the music we play, the things we write, the art we create, in everything we do.” When can we start being more fully aware? Not tomorrow, but rather today. Not in the next hour, but rather in this hour.

It becomes an adventure to notice things you might have previously taken for granted. It becomes a pleasure to start savoring the moment. Your relationship can flourish when you take the time to see small details. Perhaps you might even discover something new about your partner that you previously overlooked because your mind was on other things. Benefits for couples of living in the moment include increased intimacy, more appreciation for each other, and better knowledge of each other’s world.

Originally posted on BarbaraJPeters.com.

Barbara J. Peters

About Barbara J. Peters

Barbara Peters, RN, LPC, is a gifted communicator with a laser beam ability to cut through the tangle of personal drama to get results and relationships that last a lifetime. A Long Island native, Barbara has made Georgia her home for the last twenty-four years; her private counseling practice is in Cumming, GA. She is devoted to her family of two grown daughters, four grandchildren, and a Shih Tzu named Gingerlily who often accompanies her to work. Her books are available at all major online booksellers and on her website, in soft cover and ebook editions. If you want more information on Barbara J. Peters visit her website http://www.barbarajpeters.com.

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Living in the Moment