How To Live In The Moment: A Short Meditation On Time

This is one of the shortest, most powerful meditations I’ve ever written for The Ruminator (I wish I’d tried it a few times) and I’m thankful I was inspired to pen it. The mantra in this meditation is: “Remember, when we are in the moment, time is only there when we choose to think about it.”

This meditation was inspired by a story shared by my wife’s mother, who lived one of the many lives my grandfather spent living in the moment. She shared that every evening on Sundays before he left to work, his family would gather for the dinner of bread and salt and roast chicken. He would go from room to room at once in the house, telling me stories of all kinds, from his childhood to how his father fought with his mother to the time he nearly drowned in a well. After they’d been discussing the stories, he would leave for work. When he finally got to his workstation after all that, his old, black boss would turn to him and say, “I’ll be sure to tell you about it on Monday.” On Monday the boss would call him back, tell him that he would have to be at work by 8 a.m. or at the latest by 8:15, and that he’d have to be back at his desk by 9. It was always the same. The stories, the salt and the roast chicken, they never changed. His life was always in the moment. I can relate to that. I’d much rather work on my projects, rather than in this world for an indefinite period of time. However, there are people out there like mine who have decided to live in the moment, to be at peace, to experience the things of the world without worrying about the ramifications or consequences.

Let’s look at a few ways in which we can live in the moment and not think about how things make our minds work:

1. Put All Your Worry in the Past : If you have to worry about the consequences of what you’re going through today, put it in the past. Not only are we able to look at the situation from a completely new perspective when we have the time to reflect back over those past events, but it will be easier to go back to them if we have a clear perspective of the future. It’s easier to see what you could’ve done differently if you did things differently in the past than it is to remember all the things you did do right in the past.

2. Take Care to Think Ahead : As a part of this, make sure you are fully paying attention to what is coming. Take care to take inventory when you need to, and if you have to, go back to things you did when you were an amateur and have learned from later. The whole point of planning, of trying to be prepared and think ahead, it’s not only for you, it’s a great practice in learning how to take action without trying to anticipate everything about your future. Once things start going wrong, instead of worrying about the consequences of it, take care to take inventory of the situations in your past and how the things you did or said helped or hindered situations later down the line. If you took some action in the past that gave you the advantage, take extra care to make sure you get the most of that advantage for the future; there’s no reason you shouldn’t be better at taking action and accomplishing your goals than others with your same skills.

3. Keep the Focus on What’s Truly Important : When we obsess about things that aren’t as important as they once were, we end up getting lost in our thoughts and in our own thoughts. Focus on those things that are truly important. Your time is valuable. Don’t think about how long it will take to do something, and don’t worry about whether it will take longer than expected or be more difficult. Focus on doing your best and the best of what you can do. In the old days of your life, if you had a friend who died young, you always worried about being too old to hold a candle lit funeral; but with time, with your maturity and skills, you were able to do everything you had planned with great grace and dignity. Take the time to figure out what’s really important to you now, and don’t waste it focusing on what’s not.