A good teacher once told me that it's impossible to live every moment to the fullest. (Fun fact: she wasn't a yoga teacher.) She was right. We miss moments all the time. If we obsessed over fully living them all we might spontaneously combust, or appear intensely hyper and loony. Her simple message brought awareness to all the moments that we do miss, that we dull out on, ignore, or choose not to plug into. We tune out for all sorts of reasons. We're tired, depressed, uninterested, bored, or simply lost in thought about the million other places we need to be. We're not present. What does that even mean anyway? I know I have been put off in the past by so many new age teachings telling me in convoluted ways how to tap into the earth energy and blossom my inner bumble bee . . . or whatever. Sounds like more distractions competing for attention, when what we really need is a little quiet.
When we focus mostly on our immediate needs, wants and desires, we may achieve some of them, but hardly feel satisfied. When we feel connected to ourselves on a deeper level, we get happy. We feel safe. This doesn't happen when we're thinking about channeling our earth mother, or about how connected we are. It just happens when we get quiet, watch, and listen. It happens when we pay attention without thinking "I'm paying attention." Best of all, what happens then is we're able to connect with others and catch some of those precious moments that are always there. What's the point? In these small moments lives a vibrant, renewable source of inspiration and creativity that fuels all things interesting, inspirational, joyful and fun.
Ever caught someone's eye on the street and shared a simple smile? Sure, we all have. Those moments of innocence connect us deeply with our own potential and are available for us to enjoy whenever we choose. We only have to be willing to wake up.
5 Simple Ways to Live More Fully.
1. Observe. Take a look around. Watch people. Watch nature. Watch the sun and the clouds. The world is set up for us to observe. Check it out.
2. Take in. In order to take in we have to soften. When we have built up armor against all the bad things we think might happen in the world, we have a false sense of protection and have only built up isolation. We can start where we're comfortable and build from there. Allow yourself to take in a sappy romantic movie at home. When vulnerability becomes just another feeling like excitement, we become more familiar with it and can allow it to flow through us.
3. Respond. We have to train ourselves in response just like we train ourselves in taking in. Our reactions are colored with our psychology and our mood. It takes some conscious effort to clear muddled psychology and make room for authentic response. When we find this clarity, we get to experience a gratifying release and much deeper relating.
4. Pay attention. Paying attention to what we allow ourselves to pay attention to is a tricky thing. It's like being in two places at once, but completely worth the discipline. We can react mindlessly or respond mindfully. It's up to us. When we turn on our observation capabilities we become much more in the moment, and much more powerful. Psychic powers have been known to develop from consistent practice of paying attention. It's available to us all. It's all in what we choose to practice.
5. Enjoy. Without a sense of lightness, life can become quite a drag. Our days fill with mundane tasks we need to complete and secret desires that lead to anxiety. Have fun and enjoy your life. Might as well while we're here.
Follow Tara Stiles on Twitter: www.twitter.com/tarastiles