Chasing Inspiration

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Living In The Moment

I started a series last year about making time to do that thing you've been wanting to do but never getting around to. We started with being honest. And listening to the words we use. I do believe that this is one of the first steps toward making time. I could go on further about the language we use, but I was struck this week about living in the moment.

How does living in the moment correspond with making time? I hope to begin to sketch that map for you, but first, let's look at living in the moment.

Living in the moment is about being in the now. Being present. Awake. And aware. We often sleep walk through life, not fully aware of how we impact others and how they impact us. We react. We let the world run roughshod over us and our intentions. Of we simply let life pass us by while we attempt to control it.

In order to make time to do the things that matter most to us, we need to be aware and awake in the moment. This moment. We need to be aware of the things that impede our progress and aware of the things that support it. While I could go on and on about this, I want to focus on one thing - being aware and awake in our choices.

We are constantly making choices. Yet how many of us are aware and conscious of the choices we make? Why did I choose that outfit to wear to work? What drove me to order that latte instead of water? Why did I choose to open one email over another? These are decisions we often make on auto pilot. And while many of those decisions may not hurt our intentions of making time, they can if we aren't aware.

Here's my example. I made an agreement with myself that I would write every evening for 30 minutes. I put it on my calendar, on my PDA, and told a few friends my intentions so they could help motivate me. The first week went great. Then my unconscious choices took over. I had an opportunity to have dinner and drinks with a friend I hadn't seen in ages. Of course I would connect with her. And I didn't write that night. At bed time I told myself that was okay, I would write tomorrow.

Later that week I got into a conversation on renovations with my husband. That took longer than expected but instead of stopping and evaluating my evening, I made the unconscious choice to stick with the usual evening routine of watching reruns on TV. More and more evenings were taken up with unconscious choices I made because I wasn't awake in the moment. I was on autopilot.

Some would say I didn't want the writing badly enough to stick to it. I say I did, but I had to wake up enough to be aware I was my own worst enemy. When I woke up I was able to stop the routine, stop the unconscious choices and ask myself what mattered more - writing or that thing I had always done. Sometimes the other choice won, but I was deliberate in my choice, acknowledging what I was letting go in order to sit with my husband and watch TV or spend an evening with a friend.

When we are awake and alive in the moment, I believe we can be true to our intentions. We can see patterns of behavior that aren't helping us and work to break those patterns. We can be honest with ourselves and about what matters most.

Are you awake in this moment? If not, what can you do to become more aware and more intentional?


1 comment:

  1. I believe I go through phases. Sometimes, I coast. When life gets busy, what is has to be so I make that happen. However, sometimes, things just need to be done on top of all those other things like cleaning or purging of things. That's when I need to just sit down and do the things that aren't appealing. I usually try scheduling, but once I start, I find it is easy to stay on track.

    My next few goals include purging of toys and possibly items but mostly toys for now. Also, I want to start exercising which I do have time to do at least a few times a week before the boy gets home. So, we just have to keep it up no matter what. I believe it's 2 weeks when something becomes routine. Life gets thrown off when routine is disrupted or something is added to the routine. So, I always try to make it to that magical 2 week mark.

    Overall, though, I try to be very deliberate in my choices. I do need to be better at bringing my lunch, but that's a process. It comes and goes. Plus, it's not a necessity yet. I'll get there sooner or later.