It’s a bit cliche to offer this simple advice: “stay in the moment.”
Cliche, perhaps, but true nonetheless.
There’s so much value to be gleaned by doing just that. Staying focused, not getting ahead of yourself, and indeed, staying in the moment.
So this Zen of Ten is all about a few specifics – HOW to stay in the moment:
1. Stare. For 60 seconds, just train your attention on something you find of interest. This will force you to be in the moment as there’s no way your mind can wander.
2. Let Your Mind Wander. For 60 seconds, just let your mind wander. Too often we interpret being in the moment as synonymous with focusing on one thing. Not always so. Instead, the goal is just to focus on allowing yourself to think – not just about one thing, but about many things. NB – staring out the window of an airplane…perfect example.
3. Breathe Deeply. Take 5 long, deep breathes. This will help you concentrate on your breathing, on your surroundings, on your physical self. Right there, right in that moment.
4. Heighten One Sense. Listen more carefully…taste more richly…lead with one of your senses, at the expense of others.
5. Repeat The Task. If you’re folding sheets, fold them again. Concentrating on one task, over and again, can be liberating mentally and frees you up from getting too far ahead of yourself.
6. Be Early. It’s impossible to stay in the moment when you are forced to worry about the next thing. Get there early (wherever there is), and give yourself the time and space to relax and be right in that moment.
7. Clear It, Clean It. Whether it’s your to do list or your desk, clear it and clean it off. Minds race when clutter is present. Simplify and clarify.
8. Get Lost. Being in familiar territory lets your mind race ahead…routine puts you on auto-pilot. To get into the moment, get lost. If you find yourself someplace unfamiliar, you are immediately more likely to concentrate on the task at hand (namely, finding your way back to someplace familiar….)
9. Write it Down. For 60 seconds, write down what’s on your mind. Could be one thought, or a stream of thoughts. Either way, concentrate on the writing and record it, to the letter.
10. Ask. Ask 10 people you trust and respect, a simple question: “What’s one thing you do to make sure you stay in the moment?”
By doing one, six or all of the above, I’ve no doubt you’ll find yourself deeply immersed in the beauty of the moment. And all the better for it.