Enjoy the Moment – Live Here & Now
Enjoying beautiful moments and living in the here and now is sometimes difficult. In our fast-moving society, time is often directing our thoughts. Mostly they are not thoughts of self-reflection, contemplation, or mindfulness. We tend to give way too much thought to everyday odds and ends, problems we are continuously dwelling on, and sometimes even anxieties which hold us back.
A while ago a friend of mine pointed out my tendency to continuously think about everything. „Annett, you are such a top-heavy person!“ she told me in a phone call and not in a particular nice way. As we had finished our call, I started to think about her words. Was her observation correct? Of course, was she right, as otherwise I would have just turned up the radio and not bothered any longer.
Maybe you are asking, just as I did at the time, what the criticism in this statement is. Top-heavy people are mostly considered to be rational, objective, quite self-reflected, and reasonable. Emotional outbursts are not part of their nature and even in difficult situations, they keep their balance and nerves. Looking at it from this angle, I was inclined to neglect her criticism, but my friend’s perspective was a different one.
The great thing about people that are important to us is that we are not indifferent towards their appreciation and hence also their feedback. If someone is holding up the mirror to you, be brave and look into it. Sometimes we realize that even friends may have a wrong perception and we may tell them. However, in this case, I had to admit that my friend’s perception was right as I was about to overthink something really beautiful. I was afraid, unsure, worried about the future, and at this moment, I started questioning everything.
The reason I kept thinking about this statement was also the insight that I had been in situations like this before. Instead of enjoying the moment and living in the here and now, my thoughts were somewhere else. Mostly in the future but sometimes also in the past. I was thinking and worrying way too often about things that were not in my hands or I assumed situations that didn’t occur.
Of course, it can be helpful and also a strength, if you are able to anticipate certain developments before they happen at work. In relationships and in situations which you should accept or enjoy it leads to overthinking and a lack of enjoyment. Sometimes these presumptions are so counterproductive to our thinking and acting that they can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Then we can pat on our shoulder and affirmatively tell ourselves “I knew it.” but we totally miss out on the moment where we should realize that our thoughts drive our actions. Therefore, it was not a wise hunch but the result of our own actions.
I have tried to meditate a couple of times in order to find a better balance, put my mind to rest, to let situations pass, and to not question everything. Until the end of 2019, I tried in vain. Just the imagination of sitting in silence several minutes without thinking seemed impossible to me and so I failed many times. Still, if there is a topic that I am curious about I will not let go so quickly. After all, the positive effects of meditation are widely known.
I thought about moments in which I was actually able to switch off my mind, enjoy the moment and I found quite a number. However, it was obvious that these moments were too rare and it would do me good to find them more often. Situations that worked pretty well so far were when I went diving, spent time in nature, or did something creative. As soon as I concentrate on something which addresses my senses I can dive into the moment. One of these special moments was diving with free dolphins. Two dolphins were swimming around us and came so close that we could have touched them. This experience was so overwhelming, and I was so fascinated that I almost forgot to breathe. All of a sudden I found myself diving in 35 instead of 20 meters depth. This moment will stay forever in my memories and I can recall it whenever I want. At the beginning of this year, I learned how helpful such visualizations can be for meditation.
In January I took part in the breathing-technique workshop of Christian Thomas Prey. Christian is a professional apnea diver, underwater model, and mental coach. I had already joined an apnea diving workshop in 2018. During this weekend I managed to learn the proper technique to dive down but my mind was working against me and every attempt ended at the depth of 8 meters. Extreme athletes like Christian can dive over 6 minutes on one breath and when resting they can hold their breath even longer. Of course, technique and training play an important role but the mental approach is even more crucial. The workshop with Christian showed me that everyone is able to develop their mental strength. I managed to extend holding my breath from 40 seconds to 2 minutes and 37 seconds with the help of visualizing my dolphin encounter. My reflex to breathe became less dominant and I could let go. The experience was very profound and emotional. Since then I use Christian’s breathing technique to meditate, and I am working with visualizations to steer my thoughts.
It seems to be a widespread misconception that meditation requires you to totally clear your head and think about nothing. Finally, this insight not only allowed me to meditate but also brought back many beautiful moments which I recall meanwhile in a way that almost feels like living through them again and again. Meditation helps to bring mindfulness into your life, to better listen to your body and feel yourself. How you meditate, which technique you use does not matter at all. All you need to do is taking the time to do it. Maybe it can also support you in living more in the here and now and to enjoy many precious moments more intensively. The way to intuitive eating starts in your head. Learn how to give up old habits, leave negative thoughts aside, and enjoy every moment.
By the way, you can find more information on Christian here: www.preynatural.com