Using the Power of the Present Moment to Change Limiting Beliefs
By Expert Author: Tracy Swartz
There's no time like the present! You’ve heard that before. Do you know how to live it? What does that mean?
Most of us live inside our heads. We are thinking about the past or dreaming about the future. Rarely do we take time to fully appreciate the present moment.
Stop and think about it. The present is all we have. The past is done and gone. The future is being written in the present. We spend our lives looking forward down the road to the destination. We only look up for a moment to see if we have “arrived”.
And you’ve heard this one before. Life is a journey, not a destination. Have you ever been on a long car trip and fully appreciated the scenery as you move from point a to point b? I’m always amazed at the wonderful things I see on a fifteen-hour trip from Ohio to New Hampshire.
Or are you the type of person who asks, “Are we there yet?”
Being full present will change your limiting beliefs. Here's how to utilize the present moment:
We take breathing for granted. It’s something we “do” on autopilot. We seem to only notice it when we are “out of breath”. Consciously using your breath will revitalize you and stop the mind chatter.
Take a deep breath in. As you do this, notice how it feels. What does the air feel like as it moves through your nostrils? Is it cold? Is it warm? How do your lungs feel as they expand and fill? Notice any sensations you feel as you hold that breath in for a moment.
Slowly let the air out. How does it taste? How does it feel as it moves out your mouth? Completely immerse yourself in the sensations of breath.
A small voice in your head may start to sputter and complain that this is silly. It says that because for just a moment you quieted your mind. You’ve created a space between you and your mind chatter.
THE FIVE SENSES
Most of us live on autopilot, trusting our five senses for input on our surroundings. Our mind computes and interprets that data into pictures or words. We create an association with our data. What if you used your five senses to fully experience what you see, hear, taste, touch and smell without trying to identify it?
Sit or lay in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and a few deep breaths to relax. The next step is to use each sense, one at a time. For example let’s start with touch. Notice how the air feels on your skin. Is it cool? Is it warm? Does it tickle or fluff your hair. Fully enjoy the experience of it. Put your attention upon your ears. Listen with the right ear only. Next listen to the sounds coming in through your left ear. Now listen with both. As you hear the noises do not try to label them. Notice how they sound. It’s similar to picking out individual instruments in an orchestra! Open your eyes. Look as far as you can in the distance. Look up and all around you without labeling anything.
Sit or lay in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax. Notice your body as a whole unit. Now ask yourself if you have hands. How do you know you have hands? Notice the sensations when you put your attention upon your hands. Move your attention to each area of your body, arms, shoulders, neck, head, torso, legs, thighs, etc. It doesn’t matter if you can’t feel each section. Once you’ve moved through each section of your body, try to feel the whole body at once.
As a society we have been conditioned to multi-task. What we lose when we multi-task is our ability to focus completely on one thing. We are continually thinking about the next thing that has to be done and how to juggle that with something else needing our attention. Use your five senses to immerse yourself in one task at a time. Doing the dishes? Feel the suds on your skin. Play in the water. Notice the smell of dish soap. A normally mundane chore becomes a meditative and pleasant experience.
Even when you’re at work, you can tune in and immerse yourself in whatever it is you are doing. Stop and pay attention by utilizing the five senses.
The above suggestions can be done anytime and pretty much anywhere. They can be used as a set meditation time or used as a “check-in” during the day to quiet the chatter.
Our present moment is a precious gift and requires our attention to fully utilize its power. Accessing this power opens you up to new ideas, creative solutions to problems, changes limiting beliefs and gives you a sense of peace in a seemingly crazy world.
Take a moment and open your present right here, right now.