by Joe Martino |
Life can be full of busy moments. We work, we play, we interact with friends. We have down time and eat time and sleep time. But are we paying attention to all of these moments?
In western culture there can be a sense of value or pride in being busy. The more we do, the more we achieve, the easier we can measure our success and our value as a person. Here’s to squashing that cultural belief
Life In A Moment
Personally I try to take my life day to day, moment to moment. I can’t pretend that I’m perfect at this or that I don’t get lost in taking things too seriously at times or getting stressed out over things that really don’t require me to go down that road. For the most part I’m able to be here and to truly take in life, but this didn’t stop me from feeling pretty turned upside down looking back at things when someone close to me just died. It all happened so fast that I don’t even remember how it all happened. It made me feel like I may not have been paying full attention.
I feel like I have never had a connection to a being in such a mutual way as I did with my cat that just passed. You might think that’s crazy, “You felt more of a connection to a cat than another person?” Yes. We won’t get into every detail about that but instead we’ll leave it as: we played roles for each other in a spiritual sense that was quite powerful for my growth.
For 3 weeks she was sick and in those weeks I felt like I was doing everything I could to help her get better. But at the end of the journey, she chose to leave her body and that was the journey I had to accept.
I had made peace with that reality long before it happened, but it didn’t stop me from having to face the reality that life just changed so quickly and so fast. I won’t get to share moments in our physical reality with her anymore, and it’s interesting to think about whether I fully appreciated every moment with her as if it could have been the last.
Why does it take big kicks in the butt to realize more about what’s important in life? All the time we hear about how people made drastic changes in themselves, their lives etc. after they had near death experiences or big accidents or have gotten really sick. Why is this? Why are we unable to just recognize the truth right from the beginning?
Much of the time I believe it is because we get caught up in chasing things in life. Whether it be money, materials, certain experiences we think will solve our problems or even people. Sometimes we get so engaged with everything in the future or in the past and what it can bring us, that we forget about all that is right in front of our faces.
Are you paying full attention to the things you love? To each moment? Take a moment to reflect and think about that.
How To Pay Attention To Life
Pulling it back to the foundation of where this all starts is what can help us get back to paying attention in life and enjoying each moment. If what pulls us out of the moment is worrying about or focusing too much on the past or future, we need to both make peace with the past and also make peace with the fact that we don’t know what will happen in the future.
- When it comes to the past, recognize that what is done is done. If you are experiencing some emotion about the past experience, process it, work through it. Do your best to grow from that experience and let it go. Lingering on it won’t help you move forward.
- When you are creating something that will come into fruition in the future, take peace in knowing things will unfold moment by moment and just do your best in each moment to do what you need to do to get it there. You don’t need to get caught up in thinking you have to be watching or worrying about it constantly. Set something in motion and let it go. It will unfold as it needs to.
- Pay attention to the things you love by giving your full self to each moment you are with them or with the experience. This will allow you to experience the full depth of what that person or experience has to offer.
Keep it simple. Often times bringing things back to here and now isn’t complicated. Although learning to let go and let be is not necessarily easy to implement, it is a simple solution that has powerful results.
Action Step For Right Now
Start with one thing today. One thing you want to experience fully. Whether it be a moment with someone or putting yourself fully into an experience, make the decision and take the steps to do it. Notice your mind, your thoughts – are they pulling you away from the experience? Are you worried about time and when it’s all going to end? Reflection will let you know how your progressing in giving your all to those moments.
by Joe Martino