Reflections on how we should be fully present in order to live a fulfilling life in harmony with everything that surrounds us.

Based upon certain ways of looking at the world, the only thing that truly exists is the present moment. In this view there’s no linear time, past and future only exist as mental objects. The past is just a set of memories which we can only access in the present moment and the future is just a set of expectations that we can only think about in the present moment. So the latter is, as a matter of fact, timeless. If we picture time as a chain of events and instants, in our experience we are always in the present moment. The present moment when you read this word is no different from the present moment when you read this word; even though you remember to have read one before the other, the reading of both are now only memories, that you can only access in this exact present moment. So because of this ongoing present moment, people tend to speak of it as eternal.

In this infinite amount of time there are also infinite spaces, dimensions and possible realities to experience. We live in a limitless world with endless possibilities and the choice between one or the other is up to the individual. The eternal present is the spiritual dimension of time, a major goal within all the great wisdom traditions of the world. The paradox about the eternal present is that it is constantly present with us, so it is not something you can achieve. Rather it is more like something that you can become aware of and use that awareness to improve your daily existence.

Living in the present means developing a state of conscious and non-judgmental mindfulness through which you are able to get rid of the conditioning of thoughts and emotions in order to live in harmony with everything that surrounds us. The present time, if we think about it, is the only time really perceived by our consciousness and body. It is in the present that we fully perceive ourselves, our will, our I. Living in the present moment is crucial for living a fulfilling life. When we focus too much on the past, we can get stuck with regrets or nostalgia. Likewise, when we focus too much on the future, we can feel overwhelmed by anxiety or anticipation. By focusing on the present moment, we can completely engage with the world around us and appreciate the beauty of the moment. Living in the present moment allows us to make the most out of our experiences. The present creates the future, but the past doesn’t create the present, it has created it. Now is the time when you lay the foundations for the future.

Unfortunately, we are not so used to pay attention to the present and we easily miss precious moments because we are distracted by our thoughts and worries or also because we are waiting for something to happen instead of take over our life and make things happen.
Waiting is just a state of mind, it basically means that you don’t want what you currently have but what you lack of; that you refuse what you created and desire for what you still haven’t accomplished. It’s good to have the motivation to achieve your goals and improve yourself but you should always be grateful for where you are now. As the philosopher of Ancient Rome – Seneca – wrote in his “De brevitate vitae”: “Maximum vivendi impedimentum est exspectatio, quae pendet ex crastino, perdit hodiernum.” which translate into “Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today.”

It’s difficult to be fully present in daily life because our mind is accustomed to anxiety that has become a familiar feeling, a sort of unhealthy comfort zone. Change, even if it’s positive, is never welcome from our habitual brain so we have to work on that for our well-being. Living in the present moment has, in fact, several benefits.

It helps to manage depression by distancing yourself from overwhelming worries and fears. Increase emotional intelligence through being more conscious of your feelings and reactions which strengthens the ability to handle emotions and connect with others. Also encourage self-esteem and self-respect thanks to a deeper level of connection with yourself.

Here are some tips to be more present and live in the moment: explore breathing exercises in order to be able to feel your body and being entirely aware of it, consciously limiting screen time and create a space to read, research and take care of your passions as making art for example – it has been shown that creative work helps to achieve a condition of full presence where we are isolated from the outside world and all the five senses are focused only on the task we’re doing. Then also mindful movement such as yoga, pilates, dance or sports along with expressing gratitude through journaling, meditation and a positive attitude.

The present is the most important time of your life – it’s always possible to face and fix any situation in the present because the past is now behind us and the future hasn’t arrived yet. Life is available only in the present moment – only here and now we can truly experience the most powerful and purest energy: Unconditional Love.

“Love in the past is only a memory. Love in the future is only a fantasy. True love lives in the here and now. If you take care of each moment, you will take care of all time.” Buddha

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