How often are any of us fully in the present moment? Instead of experiencing what Eckhart Tolle calls “the power of now,” most of us are instead consumed with possible scenarios (most of them worst-case) for the future, or obsessing about the past.
And yet being fully in the present moment is one of our most powerful keys to living a joyful and peaceful life. Here are two inspiring quotes–one by Albert Einstein and the other by Henry David Thoreau–to help us remember the value of being in the present moment, and a helpful way to experience that moment, now.
I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.
He is blessed over all mortals who loses no moment of the passing life in remembering the past.
–Henry David Thoreau
We can begin to experience the magic of the present moment when we engage in any ordinary task. Take brushing your teeth, for example. Really notice every aspect of the experience with all your senses: be aware of picking up the toothbrush and squeezing out toothpaste on its bristles. You might notice how it feels to squeeze the tube of toothpaste or how the brush feels in your hand. Is the floor cold on your feet? How does your body feel supporting your weight as you stand there? How does the toothpaste taste? How does it smell? What does it feel like to brush each one of you teeth?
At some point you may catch yourself lost in thought. Don’t think of it as making a mistake. It is common for people to become frustrated with themselves when they find that they have been drifting off in daydreams. Remember to always be gentle with yourself. You simply had an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the difference between being in the moment and letting your mind wander. When you become aware of being out of the moment, you are back in the moment. As you bounce back and forth between being in the moment and being lost in thought, you start to learn what being present in your life means.
To realize when you’re not present is to understand what it means to be present.