Tired of living your days in a blur? Do you ever sit down on the couch after the kids are in bed and wonder what on earth you did with the last 12 hours? Those thoughts do NOT bring warm fuzzies of living life to the fullest or leaving a legacy of love and intention. So how do you insure you’re living in the moment and being fully present for those you love most?
It’s no secret that we’re being pulled in a million different directions every day. As a mom you have the syndrome. The “do it all-itus”. It makes you tired and gets you going all. the. time only to feel like you got nothing of worth accomplished at the days end.
You’re required to keep up with a lot too, it’s not like you bring it all on yourself. Class parties, field trips, packing lunches, deadlines, work, laundry, and groceries. You get it, the list of what you fill your days with is not all a choice.
The world tells you to stay busy. In fact if you look up the opposite of busy it gives you words we don’t like to hear. Slothful, idle, lazy, and inactive. Yikes, nobody wants to be those, so we cling to busy, rushed, involved, and distracted.
So how do you live a life that is unhurried and present? Living in the moment is a lifestyle, it’s not a one off. Let me take you deeper!
This week on the podcast I get to talk about my true love and purpose. I mean it’s the name of the show so you better believe I got some good stuff to dish out for you. In the midst of the holidays we can for sure get distracted, overcommitted, and buuuuusy! Here are 7 tips for living in the moment so you don’t miss your life all together.
Why is it so Hard to Live in the Moment?
Do I need to go into all the distractions of our digital age? The pulling of social media, the comparison, the ding of your phone, and the Netflix binge. Our brains are on constant go. So much so that when you do sit still, you start to feel antsy and sometimes even anxious.
If you’re wondering why it’s so hard to live in the moment take a look at a few things and give an honest assessment before you read on. Each of these 5 questions can point you back to your “distraction health”.
5 Questions to Gage Your Distractibility
- How is your sleep?
- Are you eating well?
- Have you overcommitted (If you’re reading this I could tell you the answer to that one!)
- Are you focused on the negative?
- How much time do you spend on your phone? (Download the Moment App)
Once you’ve taken a good honest look at some of those things up there, make sure you tune into the Unhurried Life this week because I go deeper into assessing each of those questions!
The very first tip when it comes to living in the moment is mindfulness. This is most definitely not something that just happens! It takes practice and a lot of it. It also takes a certain amount of self control.
Being mindful about your body, emotions, health, and feelings is such a grown up thing. Living in the moment happens when you’re mindful of yourself.
Try a body scan. I know it sounds weird but trust me on this. Set your timer on your phone for 3 minutes. Go from head to toe and evaluate all of your feelings, everything about your body on the outside, then repeat 3 minutes and do the inside of your body.
A body scan is the best and most productive way to live totally and completely in THAT moment!
This may seem all yoga but there is some cool stuff that happens to your body and your mind when you stop and breath. Why do you think every mom out there has told her 3 year old, “5 deep breaths” in the middle of a melt down?
Example of Living in the Moment
Any tea fans here? Ok, I’m a huge tea fan, in fact if I were to be honest with you, I love it more than coffee (eek, I said that!). Teavana was my favorite spot. DFW airport had a Teavana and I was absolutely thrilled anytime I had a layover there!
Teavana went out of business, saddest day ever, so naturally I stocked up. I splurged and bought all I could from the store and then ordered more online. Now I have a secret stash of my top favorites.
One of the best flavors was the White Chocolate Peppermint Tea. Since I know that once I steep the tea leaves and enjoy a cup of it, it’s gone. I savor every sip. Just the other day I scooped the last spoonful of tea leaves into my mug and a tear rolled down my cheek. Ok, no tear but I was planning that moment out.
I would drink this cup of tea on my front porch during nap time so I could be totally present, enjoy every sip, there would be nothing that would take me away from this.
Could you imagine if I had made this last cup of tea first thing, as I was getting kids ready for school, doing drop off, or making breakfast? Distracted. The tea would get cold and possibly forgotten. Never!
The best way to enjoy the moment of tea sipping was to plan it out and know when would be the absolute best time to fully enjoy my cup of warm love in a cup!
Let’s translate this experience into your life. How are you planning for moments of being present? If you’re like me and you forget to plan for them, they’ll get forgotten and never happen.
Try Seeing Your Perspective Like This
You know the whole social media thing creeps in ALL over the place ALL the time! Let’s first look at what a perspective even is because perspective is very different for everyone. This is your experience of an event as it happens (nobody really can have the same experience because we’re all coming in with different backgrounds, strengths, and ideas). Your perspective is tremendously influenced by your values, beliefs, and past experiences.
All that being said, your perspective of what living in the moment may mean and actually be is probably different than mine. Which can get a little bit confusing if you start to really think on that. But what you want to do when living in the moment and being more present with your life is set your perspective as a new event.
No two moments are the same and so no true attempt at living in the moment should be the same either. That’s why there are 7 tips to living in the moment and not just one!
Having tools and ideas for adapting to the days, stages and moments will give you what you need to rest in that situation or day.
How to Make Realistic Expectations
Expectations are part of perspectives. Expectations are more ideas or assumptions (hopes and wants) where perspective is more of an attitude (view or outlook).
Expecting that you’ll live every moment in the present is not very practical. Hello toddler + newborn + kinder!!! Yea, sorry, not today!
If you expect to take every single moment and day captive you’ll be setting yourself up for a disappointment. Rewind and realize what realistic expectations would be for you in this season.
When you’re setting expectations for just about anything, you will do this best when you’re looking at your current stage. I’ll say that again, YOUR current stage. Not the girl you follow on Instagram that also just had a baby and her kids also go to your kids school. Just because someone seems to be in a similar stage as you and they’re doing things one way does NOT mean you need to do life like her.
Step back. Keep your eyes on your own paper and circle the choices, schedule, methods, routines, and life that is best fitting for you and your days here.
How to be More Content
Contentment is a fancy word for ‘no more Instagram’. Ok, kidding but kinda not. The more you compare the less content you get. You know what I’m talking about. That feeling right after you put up your Christmas tree or finish hanging your stocking over the mantle. Pure bliss and enjoyment, job well done. Then hop on the gram and boom, all that get’s taken away.
Not trying to harsh on social cause I’m over there and love sharing my life with you and keeping up with yours. But when you enter into a space unprepared for what’s to come comparison can easily steal your joy and ability to live in the moment. ZAP. Gone.
The very first thing you can do to be more content and therefore more present in your life is … thankfulness!
Try starting and ending your day with thankfulness and go deeper. We tend to be thankful for all the “given’s”. House, food, car, clothes. Although those are important dig a little. Figure out what you are really joy-filled about!
Grounding Your Heart
About 30 years ago there was a sweet couple. He was a Southwest Airlines pilot and engineer at heart. She was his support. They loved each other and they settled down on a piece of land just outside the city. Near the small airport of a small town so he could make the 21 minute flight over to the large metropolitan airport and continue to pilot for Southwest.
They built their dream house and he soon retiered. Not long after building was complete they were sitting on their massive front porch looking out at the neightbors golden pasture of grass swaying in the breeze and realized something. This was Texas and it was hot. Shade would be nice. So they went to the plant nursery and purchased half a dozen Live Oaks.
They planted those trees in their front yard.
Their roots ran deep and the trunks all swelled. The branches curved and stretched and they became grand. They were doing their job, cooling off and shading!
Today, I get to enjoy those very trees! A few weeks ago we moved into that house and I’m so thankful to that couple for planting those Oaks. Today as I sat on the porch admiring their roots that showed just a bit out of the ground I thought of how they will never move.
Those trees are grounded. Come storm or high water, they are huge. They will not budge. When you decide living in the moment is worth your investment you must ground your heart in the idea.
The idea that you will become stronger and your roots will go deeper the longer you live this way. It’s not automatic, but it is so worth it years down the road when you can support your family, when you are an anchor, and when you have grounded your heart in the choice to be present and alive for your family.
Pruning Out Your Clutter
Live Oaks don’t typically need to be cut back. In fact most actually love the large branches but there are plants that need to be pruned in order to grow more full. This is a perfect analogy for finding a way to live in the moment.
The final tip to be more present is to cut back the clutter. Easier said than done. So, here are a few easy ways to find and clear small branches in your life that are taking away from your ability to focus on what’s most important.
- Ask a close friend (not your hubby) to evaluate your commitments
- Ask your children what they see is most important in your life
- Write down everything you did today
- Look at your calendar and decide what brings you joy and what you dread
- Say yes to the life givers first so you don’t have time for the drainers
- Make a list of what gives you life and excites you
- Make a list of what depletes you
- Create a system or routine for clearing out
Although I’m mostly talking about tasks and mental clutter, clearing out can also mean physical or even digital clutter. With less distracting you it’s easier to feel the burden lifted. No joke, cleaning your closet and donating some extra stuff from the garage has a mental effect as well as physical effect on your space. Here are a few places and things worth decluttering to help you be more present. Knowing these things are taken care of is such a relief!
Try decluttering or pruning:
- your closet
- inbox (just delete everything!)
- your phone photos
- linen closet
- the junk drawer
I’m not simply talking organizing here, I’m talking about less stuff. Less stuff means less to manage and less to manage means time to be.
Be More Present: 7 Tips for Living In the Moment
This post has been packed with a lot of tips and like I said before, your stage and day have a huge effect on how you pull yourself in to be more present which is why there are 7 tips! This week on the podcast I go more in depth and talk to you like a friend would, honestly and encouragingly.
Here are the 7 tips in a nutshell but taking a listen to the Unhurried life podcast will help you put this all into action and bring you back to a place of rest and restoration.
I’d like to leave you with this verse:
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.John 15:4
If you have a second read the what’s before and after this short excerpt and count how often John mentions to abide or to remain. It’s a lot. There’s something the author is trying to get across here and it kinda jumps off the pages at you. Slow your roll! Abide, be still, be present, live in the moment with HIM.
The more you go off on your own and busy yourself with doing, the farther from the vine you are. And God is pretty clear, on what happens when we’re not producing or loving … Head over and read about it here or tune into this week’s episode of the Unhurried Life as I dive deeper into this!
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