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7 Tips to Live in the Moment

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Girl's Day at mcIntosh 1890s Festival

Has this ever happened to you? You leave a restaurant after dinner with friends, and on the way home, you realize you missed most of the evening. There was so much internal noise in your head, you can’t recall exactly what you ate, and you only have a hazy recollection of the conversations around the table. You were there…but you weren’t.

How to live in the Moment

In our crazy, hurry-up world, it takes focus in order to live in the moment. Unless we’re deliberate about being present, we can easily make the mistake of only being physically there. Our body is sitting in the chair, but our mind is thinking ahead to the next item on the to-do list. Or our emotions are somewhere in the past, replaying some past tragedy or triumph, or we’re looking ahead to the next possible disaster.

Unless we’re intentional, we can miss the most important thing: today.

Right now.

Girl's Day at mcIntosh 1890s Festival

Girl’s Day at McIntosh 1890s Festival

7 Tips to Live in the Moment

  1. Quiet your internal chatter so you can focus on what the person is saying.
  2. Pay attention to the world around you. Remember the admonition to smell the roses?
  3. Ban cell phones at meals, either at home or when you’re out.
  4. Declare one day a week technology free. (For me, that’s usually Sunday.)
  5. Turn off social media apps on your phone.
  6. Look people in the eye when you talk.
  7. Take advantage of opportunities to make memories. Schedule them, if necessary.

At the end of the day, our most valuable treasure is the people who share our lives. Are we giving them our full attention?

What strategies do you use to live in the moment? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

 

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    The Conversation

  1. Connie Mann says:

    Did you catch the upside down photo? I was having a little fun, to see if you all were paying attention… 🙂

  2. Thank you for the reminder to live in each moment. I will start this practice today!

  3. Anne Greene says:

    I’ve been trying to live in the moment for the past several weeks. I’ve found savoring stopping at a stop light even good. This is such good advice.

  4. Connie, this really hits home today! One of my sons just found out his ex-girlfriend, who he broke up with years ago, was killed when she was hit and run over by a bus. I don’t know all the details, but she likely was distracted by a text or a phone call, or just fooling with a phone. It’s very sad because she was only in her late twenties and my son learned she was pregnant when this happened. Even though he hasn’t seen her in years, it really shook him up.

    We all need to focus on what’s going on around us.

  5. R.E. Mullins says:

    You’re right. It is much to easy to live in your head and tune out the world around you.

    • Connie Mann says:

      It is, R.E., and getting easier all the time. I just saw a commercial for headphones that are so wonderful, apparently, people wear them all day. Except, of course, then they’re not interacting with other people all day, or in tune with the world around them…sigh. It made me sad. I don’t want to miss what’s going on in my world! (okay, sometimes, but not all day, every day!)

  6. Jan Jackson says:

    Connie, you need to stay out of my head. 🙂 I was just thinking mere days ago how I need to learn to quit worrying and enjoy the moment. I struggle with that. I realized I can never relax and take in the joy of the moment because i am always thinking what I have to do next. I don’t think it will change overnight, but I am actively making an effort. Thanks for this post. It only strengthens my resolve. I aim to enjoy every moment of the conference this weekend! No worries.

    • Connie Mann says:

      I’m with you on this one, Jan! Let’s actively enjoy every moment. I think, as with most things, step one is realizing we’re NOT paying attention. Then we can take steps to relax and be fully present in the moment. Looking forward to a great conference!

  7. Connie,

    I saw your blog notice on The Wild Rose Press loop and came over to read your tips. You have some very nice suggestions. I am a part-time yoga instructor, so I start my classes with a meditation to calm the mind by closing the eyes and focusing on breathing. The slow, deep, rhythmic breathing, along with imagery and suggestions for relaxation, seem to help my students leave the chaos outside the studio and allows them to be fully present in a class just for them.

    I’m very curious about your McIntosh Festival. I live in McIntosh County in coastal Georgia, so I’m wondering if we may have some sort of long lost connection…

    • Connie Mann says:

      Hi Maggie,
      Thanks so much for stopping by! I like the way you start your classes. So often it seems to start with us being aware of what we’re doing (or not doing) and then being intentional in what we do next. 🙂

      McIntosh is a tiny little town in Central Florida about halfway between Gainesville and Ocala. They used to be big in the citrus industry, but today, their claim to fame is the annual 1890s arts & crafts festival (which drew about 40,000 people this year). The town’s regular population is only a few hundred. Quiet streets of 1800s homes, moss draped live oaks…it’s lovely. 🙂

  8. Thanks for this great reminder. I’ve learned this lesson first hand after going through 15 months of chemo to beat ovarian cancer over the last two years. My life was moving way too fast and cancer slowed me down so that I could actually take a look around me. I went from running everyday to literally not being able to walk. As I sat on the couch on my back porch, the world began to awake around me. Birds became my little friends. When I lost my taste buds I still had my sense of smell to smell every single rose on a bush. Being there for my 3 kids, even on their worst days, reminded me how grateful I was to be here to hold them when they cried.

    Now that I’m in remission and gaining my old strength back, I have to constantly remind myself to slow down. My old ways of running crazy are too easy to pick back up. I just joined a life group with my church to help me remember to slow down and be with people instead of due dates and obligations. And I do still stop every time I see a rose bush and smell each and every rose on it. : )

    • Connie Mann says:

      Heather, you got me all choked up! I am so glad you are in remission and enjoying your family and making time to savor life and smell the roses!! Thank you for a great reminder to live every moment! You encouraged me, big time!

  9. This year’s McIntosh 1890’s festival is Saturday, October 24, 2015. I hope you and the girls can attend!