With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
After years of soul searching, reading books, and writing more than 700 blog posts to learn more about the life I want to create, I think I’ve found the best answer to peaceful living.
The answer is simple: Be in the present moment. This moment. Not the moment that has passed or the moment that will happen next.
The only moment that’s guaranteed is this moment.
So, I’m learning peaceful living isn’t found by looking back, trying to remember better days. And the answer isn’t found by hoping peace will be there tomorrow. Peace, and the blissful awareness it brings, is found right here – right now.
Why right now?
The answer was waiting for me when I stopped and listened. Making the decision to live differently and experience life in a new way has helped me realize that regret and worry were costing me the peace I was seeking.
Why is right now so powerful? Why is living in the present moment the path to peace? I’ve found three reasons:
- Discover more enjoyment. Enjoy the smells that fill your nose – enjoy the taste of the coffee, the ice cream and the vegetables – enjoy the feeling of the wind gently smacking your face – enjoy the sound of the rain as it splashes on the roof.
- Enjoy better relationships. When you think of your relationships as a gift and then savor every moment you have with your wife, husband, partner, children or friends, connections grow deeper and the love becomes sweeter.
- Eliminate stress. More than 90% of the things you worry about never materialize. So, yes, focus on your responsibilities, but also avoid the temptation to create problems, which create stress and keep you from enjoying what you have right now.
How to be Present
Find a way to reduce stress from your life. If you are carrying heavy burdens, learn to let them go. The burdens could be due to work, household chores, or bills. Whatever it is, relax yourself by shedding some of the load.
Discover your feelings.
Without knowing how you feel about life and those around you, you will not be able to feel peace. Find out what you love and discover the things you cannot live without by closing your eyes and thinking about your life. Fantasize or dream of what peace means to you.
Be part of the ‘now.’
Be fully present with all the stuff going on around you. Fully immerse in conversations with the people you meet as they may spark off something you say. Meetings can go anywhere and sometimes last a lifetime. Don’t let your mind wander off into yesterday’s regrets or tomorrow’s problems.
Be the energy.
Producing extra energy into your situations and not be an energy drainer for other people. Energetic bodies can make our lives that little bit easier.
Don’t waste any connecting time with small talk and boring chit chat. Keep things genuine and realistic. Don’t be too shy to say when you disagree. Civilized disagreements are no more than constructive debates and these are best served up with a bit of passion. People respect alternative points of view if thoughtfully put forward. Learning happens this way and relationships can be strengthened.
Make sure the learning opportunities are followed through. If you talk with an interesting person find out what makes them tick. See how much they are prepared to divulge as it never really hurts to at least try. If you see or hear something fascinating during your day, make a mental note of it and check it out when you have time.