Need more NOW in your life? Are you finding that you, or your kids, haven’t enjoyed the present moment because you were stuck in your thoughts? Have your minds run amok leaving your family in a haze of mental chatter, all the while missing out on the beauty of the present, the NOW?
If this sounds like you, or someone you know, here are a few simple mindfulness tips from The Land of Now.
Step One: Recognize that you aren’t in the NOW.
The first thing you must do to be in the moment is to recognize when you aren’t. Are you paying full attention to what is happening around you? Do you remember the conversation you just had with someone? Are you feeling anxious or sad, or even frustrated and unwilling to accept what is happening around you? If any of these things sound like you, or your kids, then you are not in the NOW because your thinking has taken command.
Yes, we like to think that we need all of these thoughts rambling around in our heads. But the truth is, just because it showed up (to take us out of NOW) doesn’t mean that it’s useful. In fact, if you really listen to the thoughts you are having, you will realize that most of them don’t have a use – other than to fill your brain with meaningless babble.
Step Two: Hear the thoughts.
As you begin to recognize that you are stuck in your thoughts, and not in the NOW, take a moment to hear what is happening in your head. When our thoughts are in charge, what we usually experience is constant chatter, bouncing from one topic to the next, doing nothing but distracting us from NOW.
But when you take a moment to actually HEAR the thoughts you are having, you can begin to pull them apart, to hear them individually. And from there, listen to them, and as you do this, you can realize that you AREN’T your thoughts. You are the observer that is hearing them. Only then can they move on.
Step Three: Let the thoughts go – you really don’t need them.
In Land of NOW we help readers of all ages get rid of the three most common types of thoughts that block us from the NOW: future worries, past laments, and going against what is.
As the thoughts begin to take shape as something other than you, here are some ways to let them pass, and what you can do with them.
Is it the future that is causing you to worry about a time that isn’t even here yet? Do these future thoughts offer a plan or something that you can do now to affect the future? If so, then take those steps NOW to help alleviate those worries. If not, understand that you can’t do everything at this moment so worrying does no good. Take what is useful and applicable to the NOW from those future thoughts, then let them move on.
If the past is still gnawing at you, causing sorrow or anger, realized the past is over and you cannot go back to change what occurred. But, you keep that pain alive by thinking about it. So to let the past move on, you need to let go of it by forgiving yourself for your actions or forgiving someone else for the way they behaved. However, if you can learn something from that past action or event, keep that lesson with you as the thoughts leave.
Another BIG set of thoughts that keeps us from NOW is when we don’t want to accept what is. If you are spending time thinking about how you don’t like this, or don’t like that, or wish things were different, then you are not in the NOW. Instead, let go of trying to control what is, and accept what is really happening around you. Be grateful for what you actually have, what really is, and appreciate the NOW.
Step Four: Staying in the NOW.
The good news is that NOW is always with us, but we can easily be pulled out of the present. So if you find that you are feeling worried, upset, or have missed out on what just happened, then you aren’t in the NOW, and your thoughts have come back.
But returning to the NOW can be as simple as taking a big deep breath in, and feel the air fill your lungs. Or, just notice something around you, in the NOW. Something that can bring your attention to here. Focus on the music you have playing, or notice the wind blowing the leaves outside, or even just stretch your fingers. All of these simple activities can help you come back to NOW.
A little piece of advice from Land of NOW:
You see, my dear friend, you are always in NOW
So please do not waste one more minute
Being stuck in your thoughts, missing out on what’s here.
The NOW’s all there is so be in it!
In our latest addition to the Land of… Children’s Books® series, we have created tools and ways to teach readers of all ages how to be in the NOW. But, we have disguised this important life lesson with fun rhymes, simple steps, and brilliant illustrations. Get your copy of Land of NOW to share with your family. Support our Kickstarter campaign through November 15th and receive Land of NOW, or all four of our books!
About Katie Mullaly
As a lover of rhyme, rhythm, and reason, Katie Mullaly continues to share her passion for teaching, creating greater awareness and living a conscious life through the Land of… Children’s Books®.
The Land of… Children’s Books® series came about from years of Katie’s soul-searching, seeking her purpose and wanting to create something meaningful that incorporated her passion for mindful living. This series allows Katie to find new sources of creativity that she didn’t know she had. It also allows her to share her experiences of trying to be a better human with her readers.
Katie has a BS in Science Communication and an MS in Professional Master of Science and Technology, both from the University of Utah, and is working on a “PhD” in being a better human. She will be working on her dissertation on being a conscious, caring person for the rest of her life, and looks forward to sharing that work with anyone who will read her books.