1. It is important to live in the moment because that’s when your true self is guiding you
2. Living in the moment Is when you can switch off your thinking and your filters
3. What are the benefits of living in the moment? It allows you to be creative and optimize yourself – the reason you are here
4. How do you know when you are living in the moment? You’ll feel fulfilled and good about yourself without it affecting anyone else
Anyone who has read a self-help book has probably come across this advice. To live in the moment. If like me, you need to know how something works before taking it as given, the following break-down may help. First, what exactly does it mean? When we play an exciting sport or watch a Thriller or ride a roller-coaster our attention is in the moment “now”. There is no filter between the experience and response to the experience. In other words, unlike other social settings, there’s no little voice saying “you can’t do that here… what will they think?” or “be careful, this could get you in trouble”. The background chatter is switched off and you are acting spontaneously. This is identical to creativity.
When we are creating our ideas come from our non-physical Self, the Being that occupies the physical body. This Being always acts to benefit you personally and simultaneously it will be in harmony with all connected Beings and events. If you have ever had a catastrophic experience you will recall every action was spontaneous and almost without exception, everyone’s actions were to optimize their own survival first, then those they loved then everyone else.
At a self-conscious level, we are having to deal with all kinds of filters first. Not only does this paralyze choice, it has the disadvantage of not being able to see the bigger picture. The filters may be social indoctrination, childhood memories, and self-image. Any one or combination of these will prejudice your choice, whereas your Self-sees the various outcomes instantly and based on this information makes a decision. A friend of mine had been in a bad relationship for many years but had such low self-esteem they felt that was all they deserved. Then, via the internet, they “fell in love” with someone. This was a mutual relationship between texts and photos. It gave the person a new image of themselves, and the courage to end the bad relationship.
That one action of “living in the moment” literally changed their life. The internet relationship dissolved almost as soon as the separation. There are times when a more considered, balanced approach is the right way. Living life on a roller-coaster is a sign of desperation, no different than drug addiction. When you don’t give yourself time to think because your lifestyle is just too busy, you will wake up one day wondering what you did with your life! That is living on “automatic pilot” rather than “in the moment”. Just sitting and doing absolutely nothing is one of the best ways to access your Self and creativity. This is often called meditation, but people tend to think you need the formula to meditate. Whereas, the point is to let your thinking go. What tends to happen if you do nothing is that chatterbox in your head goes into over-drive. There’s an endless stream of scraps of conversations, wishful thinking, self-criticism for whatever you haven’t got that you think you want, possibly a list of instructions for your future actions ( get the shopping/ phone that person/ clean this/ do that).The trick is learning to switch this off and that’s where the Gurus advise chanting a mantra or focusing on a mandala.
Realise it won’t happen instantly in most cases. If you are familiar with the Father Ted T.V. comedy series, you will recall Father Dougal was able to switch off instantly! I do think that was his charm. You may wonder what you need creative thinking for if you are not an artist of some description. I think the misunderstanding comes from calling it “thinking”. As an artist, I know when I am being creative I am not thinking. I am in the moment “now”. I just Do without thinking. But what I did was a product of my Self. The benefit to anyone is being in direct communication with your true identity. The key to what this Being is like is in your sense of fulfillment. When you have an experience that makes you feel good about yourself without feeling “better than” someone else you are on the right track. This is the instant fix provided by Religions in “doing charitable works” and now the media via purchasing commodities to appear better than those around you, be it a new shade of hair-dye or luxury yacht. They are feeding your innate desire to live purposefully. In other words, having a purpose to be alive that excites you, makes you look forward to the day ahead and feel fulfilled as you go to sleep. It is only when you give yourself “time-out” that you will start tuning into You.