What does “living in the moment” mean?  We tend to hear that a lot.  It may have something to do with how we perceive our state of being.  As adults we might notice that we perceive the world differently now than when were as kids and young adults.  There seems to be less newness to things.  Less discovery.  More focus on the routine, the necessary, and how to sustain.  The focus on life as we continue in adulthood can become narrow, stressful, and even boring at times. It doesn’t have to be that way.

The human mind, or the ego, has a tendency to label experiences and look for past events to substantiate it’s existence.  Basically, we tend to form an identity of ourselves based on past events.   Our ego tells us that what “was” is exactly what “is”.  Therefore, what “is” becomes what we “are”.  We then identify with the past to tell us what we are.  This is how we end up labeling ourselves and telling ourselves what we can and can’t do.  (Life’s pretty mundane when we have less options) We give ourselves limited titles, roles, and definitions, simply because we feel as though we have no other choice.

A good example of how to live in the moment is to look at children and how they interact with the world.  Children typically do not analyze the past.  They tend to do the opposite of what adults do which is over analyze and reflect on the past.  They live in the moment.  In the moment is where life is. This learned behavior of depending on the past to define the present is a cause of much stress and suffering in our culture.  For a child, moments and experiences are fun and interesting not because they’ve “never seen it before” but because they haven’t let the past define the present moment.  As adults we tend to bring our experiences from the past to define what we are currently experiencing.  The problem with that is we can end up nullifying the possibility of discovery and excitement if we carry old concepts and expectations with us to the present.

stella art

Our increased responsibilities, roles, and changes in our lives do not have to define us.  Contrary to what many believe, we are not our occupations, our relationships, our roles, or even our thoughts.  Becoming aware of this is important.  It is almost as if we have to take the approach of being “new” every moment.  We can redefine ourselves, literally.  If we do that, countless possibilities can exist.