The best way to stay in the present moment
I recently came to the realization that there are some who have no problem being focused on the task before them and rarely spiral off into daydreams. That to me is nothing short of amazing as someone whose frequency of daydreaming seems pathological.
For me, daydreams were an escape from a humdrum, boring and sometimes painful life where my vindication from bullshit and bullshit people was waiting in wing.
That vindication hasn’t really shown up. Sure, stuff was resolved but then new problems came up and then I’d just daydream about those problems being gone. With that said, it’s important to look at the content of the daydream and realise what it is you’re running from or what it is you can’t stand and face it.
When I began university, I had a thought that essentially has tanked the last decade of my life, or at the very least, I’ve been trudging along with the handbrake up. I thought to myself, “Okay, life is now serious. I have to keep my focus in the future because if I don’t focus on what’s next I’ll never get anything in life.”
Yay for being proactive but this kind of thought would only come from a mind preoccupied with “vindication from bullshit and bullshit people” and a mind that didn’t yet realise that a fixation on the future (or the past, which I also had a problem with) isn’t going to make your now, your present moment any fun. It’ll lead to anxiety (and resentment if you’re fixated on the past).
“You will never have enough if what you have isn’t enough.” I had this thought many years ago. I understood it. I implemented it. It worked wonders, but the mind was too powerful and I couldn’t sustain it. But I suppose I have suffered enough to not only remember it but to implement it once again, with more knowledge on how to deal with the mind.
How does one live the truth that they have enough? Marketers don’t tell us that. Religion doesn’t tell us that. Our well-meaning friends, family and significant others don’t tell us that. We don’t tell us that. So how do we live this? By deciding to.
When you make that decision, you will naturally feel some resistance to it. So many institutions want you focused on what you don’t have and that you’re not enough as is. But let’s face it, if we kept thinking that we don’t have enough, we will always perpetuate the thought that we don’t have enough. I’ve gained a lot in ten years and I still felt like something was missing.
You get the love, but it isn’t enough. You get the money, but now your taste is more expensive so you want more. Someone you care about hurts you, you then question the structural integrity of your relationships. Your job is annoying, but you think there’s some job out there that is all pros, no cons.
Anyway, when you feel that resistance, just allow it to be there. Trying to get rid of it will only cause it to push back harder. You can even say, “How do I feel about the resistance that’s coming up?” Place your attention on the emotions that spring forth and just let yourself feel it. What you’re feeling are the emotions that prop up the thoughts of other people that you aren’t enough and that you need more stuff in order to be happy.
Also, when you make the decision that you don’t need anything more to be happy, you might’ve felt a shift in how you feel. Maybe you felt it after you allowed yourself to feel the resistance and the resistance subsided. That’s the sweet spot. That’s you in the present moment. You may not realise it until later, but you’re going to cut down on intrusive thoughts by something like 50%. I just made up the 50% because that’s how it feels to me.
Some thoughts are going to still pop up because some stuff still needs to be addressed whether it’s day-to-day life or some internal dissonance, but at least I’m not anxiety-ridden thinking about things I don’t know and then daydreaming about solutions to problems I invented.
But in remembering that having your happiness dependent on externals is a death wish and doing what I outlined above, life feels… right. This is how it’s supposed to feel. This is how it felt when I was a kid and I didn’t have a past to compare my present to and I wasn’t worried about ensuring my survival.
This is how it feels to be accomplished. I just do what I want while still taking care of my responsibilities instead of worrying about becoming accomplished. Instead of living for the reward, life as it is right now is a great present (pun not intended).