Most of us live with a feeling of needing to get to a future moment in time where all will be well and we will finally be happy. Since our life consists of this moment – the present moment – all our life, what if we started treating this very moment with the utmost preciousness to feel good about life now instead of thinking that the best time lies ahead?

Every day I like to listen to the spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle. He is the author of “The Power of Now” and my favourite book “A New Earth”. In one of his talks he shares how he forgot about the present moment while preparing to go on stage some years ago. He was backstage ironing his shirt before a talk and felt eager to get onto the stage, to the important moment! He noticed he had left the present moment by focusing on the future instead of paying attention to the task at hand. The ironing moment seemed inferior to the stage moment. He remembered it was not. Because: This moment right here is the only moment we are alive. This is the moment with all possibilities. The past is gone. We will never find ourselves in the future. This moment is it.

It is so easy to get lost in the past or the future. I believe we all benefit from having reminders for the present moment in our day to live our life where we actually are. The more we make time to notice “I am here, now, I am breathing, all is good” the more present, aware, conscious and happy we become.

Besides meditating twice daily, here is what I did at the very start nearly ten years ago to get into the habit of tuning in to the present moment. It was a time of turbulence and darkness in my life and I knew the only way out was to become more present. I made a deal with myself: Every time I was out walking my dog in Wimbledon Common I had to make a stop at every bench I was passing. I had to sit down, close my eyes and give my awareness to my breathing until I felt present and calm. There are a lot of benches in Wimbledon Common. There was a lot of sitting down on those walks. There was no excuse whatsoever. Even if I was running late I made myself sit down. It became more important to tune into the present moment than being on time. This consistent attention to the present moment helped turn my life from darkness to light.

Today I don’t do benches, I have other reminders! Here are some daily situations that naturally bring me into the present moment:

  • when I stand by the water in the morning ready for my swim and I feel the water coming onto my feet and legs
  • when I cuddle my dog or look him in the eyes
  • when I look out of the window and I see light shining on the surface of the water
  • when I empty the dishwasher and remember that as I return every plate, glass or cutlery to its designated place I want to treat everything with care and consideration
  • when I wake up in the morning and want to be with my breath and feel the aliveness within
  • when I look at the waves or the sky
  • when I listen to someone sharing their truth. Then I definitely want to be present (if not what is the point?)

I am adding all those moments up to collect as many present moments as possible. I know that living in the present moment is the most enjoyable way to live life. If you feel tempted to add more presence (and more joy) in your life, then how about creating present moment reminders that work for you? Stay consistent and watch what happens 🙂

I wish you well – Annette X

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Annette Wiik

My name is Annette. I am a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) and started practising Hatha Yoga over 20 years ago. Holding a certificate from Bangor University to teach mindfulness-based courses, I incorporate my knowledge of mindfulness meditation in all my yoga classes. I have two grown-up children.