Have you ever noticed how a cat lives in the moment? They don’t necessarily worry about where they are going to find food tomorrow or the next day or what activities they will do. There are no long term planned out goals and no events they have to attend. There aren’t made up to do lists and deadlines. They just live in the moment.
While we as humans maybe cannot live our lives completely as if a cat does, there are many things we can do to live in the moment. Often as humans, we put so many demands upon ourselves and we create more work and stress for ourselves than in all reality is needed. Consider for a moment everything you do in a day. What is the purpose of it? Is it all necessary? Yes, there is the shopping, the taking care of a family, performing your career duties and interacting with friends. That is all true.
However, again I ask, is it all necessary? And if it is, could there be another way to do things? What about a way with more ease, simplicity and focus? What if you stopped for a moment and considered all you had to do, letting the full breadth of your creativity and analytical abilities ponder what was before you? Perhaps, this would be a better way to make it through your day.
We often react to situations as they come at us and in those moments, the stress and tension is higher than if we were in a relaxed state. What if we just paused for a moment and looked at the situation? Where might that get us? I would suggest that the outcome of taking a pause in the moment would get us further than just reacting to what was going on and trying to solve the situation immediately. Sure, there are times, when time is of the essence and so as we think about this, let us keep that in perspective.
As I go back to watching a cat, I see just how they live in the moment. When they feel like eating, they eat. When they want to play, they play. When they want to sleep, they sleep. It is purely in the moment. They are for the most part, tuned into what their body needs. While we as humans cannot live like cats do, we can take pauses in our own life and focus on living in the moment every chance we get. We could experience life from living in the moment if we allowed ourselves to do this.
Living in the moment can come in all forms no matter how busy you are in a day. There can be the step outside the office door for two minutes, to take a deep breath of fresh air and allow yourself to feel it as it fills every cell of your body. There can be the 30 seconds sitting at your desk just allowing yourself to focus on your breathing and feel how all of it fills every sense of your being. Maybe a stand up and stretch during your day in a busy office can allow you to connect with that body you live in all 24 hours of the day. Of course these are just examples in a busy day for you to stop, pause and enjoy a moment of living in life.
For me, I try to mix in my day many different ways of pausing. To each person, the many possibilities will be different from person to person. I can be at home with myself as I’m working in a garden, feeling every grain of soil as I connect with the earth which to me is a source of strength and grounding. As the sun warms my body, I can feel revived again throughout every functioning cell of my body. It may be just a stroll down the street in the evening air or a ride through the country. It might be stopping at listening or observing the birds flying around me or seeing the ripples through the trees and lake of my favorite local park. Sometimes it is sitting by the window with my cat in my arms observing the wind moving the trees through the air without effort. It could even be a simple moment listening to some beautiful music that takes my mind away from the busy moments in my day. There are so many examples that I could give and I’m sure in your own life, you will be able to find those simple things. Treat it as a treasure hunt and see all of the great gifts we have waiting just waiting for us to accept them.
I remember when I was going to massage school at Educating Hands and working full time. School was 3 nights a week plus often one of the weekend days and work was at least 8 hours a day. Between school and studying along with daily life activities, there was not much time left for anything else. One of the things I did was to take Yoga on Saturday mornings. Sure, it took a couple of hours or so by the time I traveled there and took the yoga class. Often I would wonder if I was making good use of my time until the class was over and I would see the benefits. Yoga would give me a time of just stopping, clearing my mind and connecting with my body. The rest of the day, I would be much more productive than I would have been if I had not gone to yoga. Just stopping and taking a pause offers us so much. Indeed it offers us life!
I hope you will join me in finding pauses and moments of stillness in our days. Whether it is something elaborate or something very simple, may we all find a way to stop, clear our mind and just connect to the bodies we inhabit 24 hours a day. For if we all do this, we will have given our days, our bodies and our lives so much life!