In This Moment: Three Steps to get There

In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility. ― Victoria Moran

Carpe Diem. There seems to be nothing more cliche than this phrase and the sentiment it is used to convey. Seize the day. Time waits for no one. Live in the moment. Even the Bible promotes living in the moment.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Mathew 6:34

When something becomes overused, I ask myself why? What made this concept so popular to the point of exhaustion? Maybe we have not exhausted it enough. It seems that people like to talk about living in the moment or quote related sayings about it but fail to execute it.

I can understand the difficulty in executing something that seems more conceptual than anything. Live in the moment and do not worry about tomorrow. How can we not? It does not seem possible in the way this society is set up. Tomorrow, I have bills to pay, children to pick up from school, doctor's appointments to keep and etcetera. One does not simply stop planning for tomorrow and hope for the best. Not me, not this person.

Therefore, how do we take control of our lives and tap into this power that must exist when we carpe diem? I am convinced there is power in it or else it would not be this played out, overused concept that we continually tap into when we are tapped out.

When we have nothing left or too tired to do anything or too exhausted or too confused, we stop. Our minds seem to want to shut down and take our body with her. The stress level gets to be too much and we may be brought right up to illnesses door. It seems to me that is our body's way of forcing us to live in the moment. The only problem with that is that it is not the moment we would have liked. It is not on our terms.

Collapsing from exhaustion because we have to fix everything and control everything for the sake of tomorrow is not the type of carpe diem I had in mind. Being told I have a stress-induced condition because I was too busy worried about how I am going to pay next month's mortgage is not my idea of living in the moment.

So how do we live in the moment? How do we stop stressing out about what tomorrow will bring? How do we not just talk about it but actually be about it? First, we have to acknowledge that we are full of crap and have not been earnest about doing the work it requires. Admit that we do not really know how to do this. Acknowledge that we have not really tried and if we have probably not hard enough. Accept where we are at.

Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it. ― Kahlil Gibran

After we have done that, let go of our need for control. Let go of our expectations of what tomorrow should look like. If we do not have any hard fast expectations for tomorrow then we can squash the need to control it. The is not the same as preparing and planning for tomorrow. I know I have to go to work. I am going to plan for it. I will pick out my outfit, set my alarm clock and plan out my day. All the while, the understanding that my day may not even start out as I had planned and that is okay. In actuality, I may not even wake up tomorrow. If I do, I could spill coffee on that outfit that I had picked out. I just might be late to work. There are 201 things that can happen to alter my day and that is okay. I relinquish control.

Third, take action. This may seem like the least expected parts of the steps but we have to take action in the right direction. Take action to release the stress energies that you have built up in your life. Whether it is going for a jog, writing in your journal, venting to a friend or listening to your favorite song do something that makes you feel better, even if it is for ten minutes.

We can go days or even weeks, ignoring ourselves and our needs to release stress energy. We should not. More importantly, be mindful of those things that help you and acknowledge that you are contributing to your self-care. That action is letting your inner self know that you care enough to protect and take care of yourself.

Three not-so-simple steps:

  1. Acknowledge and accept your role in your life.
  2. Let go. You do not need to control tomorrow.
  3. Take action. Actively Engage in your self-care. 

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