One of the first things to accomplish on your path of personal growth is learning to live in the moment more often. It's a trick that Zen masters call mindfulness
Living in the moment is difficult when we have responsibilities. We're normally gauging what happens in the future and evaluating what's happened in the past.
A state of being in which we are entirely present is almost childlike. When you see children playing, they're totally involved in the moment. They're not thinking of what's happened or what's yet to happen, they're immersed in the experience of NOW. Research suggests that a child's mind operates in a beta state of active moment-to-moment living until the age of five. It's constantly growing, experiencing, assimilating, and learning.
It may not seem practical for us, as adults, to live in the moment. Yet we're so out of balance, we often ignore the NOW, missing out on the everyday miracles around us.
Focus on this moment, then the next, then the one after that. For it is what we do now, the choices to be healthy and whole beginning right now, that will lead us to a future of abundance and purpose.
Abundance Self Study
Think of a time when you were absolutely living in the moment. It's usually a time of high achievement. It could have been while engaged in a sport, falling in love, playing an instrument, giving a speech, or even during a crisis. Time slowed around you and every motion was perfect and efficient.
Remember that moment for a second and take in all the senses as if you were there. Then sit quietly and return to that experience. Breathe deeply and become aware of your breath as you inhale and exhale. Feel the NOW with all your senses.
As thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge them briefly and let them go. Stay in the NOW state as long as possible. It takes time and practice to master your focus.
Physical Exercise - Abundance
Breathing exercises are a great way to instantly reduce stress and summon relaxation, calming your body and mind.
Practice the following daily by first sitting or laying in a comfortable position and closing your eyes:
- Sit up or lie completely straight. Exhale as deeply as possible....then pause.
- Breathing through your nose, inhale deeply and simultaneously relax your belly muscles. Feel your belly expand as it fills with your breath.
- After filling your belly, begin inhaling through your mouth. Concentrate on feeling your chest and rib cage expand.
- Hold your breath for a count of two, then exhale as slowly as possible.
- Repeat, focusing on your breath.
- Relax your body and mind.
- Let everything go.
Practice this for two to five minutes whenever you feel stressed or need a moment to unwind. The more stressed or emotional you are, the shorter your breathing. Take a lesson from yoga masters who say "lengthen your breath, lengthen your life".
Learning to treasure your moments will alert you to abundance all around you. Time, opportunity, positive thought - think of a new one each second.
It is so simple to go with the familiar, go with the flow, that we create patterns in our lives that soon turn to ruts. You can be spinning your wheels and not even know it. It takes effort to get out of the rut, but the freedom that comes with being un-stuck is worth it.
This process occurs naturally and constantly in nature. Nothing is forced, life just flows. They say the strong survive but so do the resourceful. Steer clear of obvious danger. Adapt to new terrain. These are the methods of the leaders who deliver themselves and their followers to greener pastures.
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