Tricking Ourselves Out of Present Moment

Tactics we use to kill our joy

Photo by Matt Palmer on Unsplash

Awareness. It’s the first step of changing anything. I’m thankful to begin to learn this lesson on a visceral level.

I’ve been unaware far too long. Though I’ve been on this yoga path for almost two decades, it feels like awareness travels in waves. I suppose all of life does — it isn’t linear; everything moves in spirals. Awareness weaves in and out of darkness and light.

Often I’m frustrated because there are things I know but forget — important things, like how to live well.

There are situations that make awareness easy, and others that make it hard.

For me, when I’m with others — friends or family — I’m often taken over by the energy of the group. I have this conditioned pattern of breaking up the silence, of making other people feel comfortable. But I’m finally recognizing that doing so isn’t my job. Each person is responsible for her/himself. And who is uncomfortable in the first place? Maybe just me?

It’s easier to be aware of thoughts and actions when I am alone, but that’s not a life I want to live. Sure, I need a fair amount of alone time to reconnect with myself and my spirit, but life is as much (if not more) about how we are in relationship with others.

As I was sitting alone this morning preparing to write, feeling joy for having the freedom to do something I love, I had another realization.

Even in a peaceful moment, a moment I should be completely plugged in, connected; I create a lot of separateness of Self. And I do it everyday.

These thoughts have been mounting. I’ve been seeing them but couldn’t put words to them until today. I do little things every. single. day. that take me away from spirit and out of present moment.

I procrastinate. I waste time. I entertain my mind with trivial matters. I spend money (or think up ways to spend it.)
my perfect little office, lacking in no way …

I offer one small (and seemingly innocent) example that happened this morning, in case these things happen for you too.

Pay attention to your thoughts.

Our home is new; less than two years old, and when I designed my office, simplicity was key. Less physical clutter, less mind clutter. One small floor desk sits in the corner and a simple chandelier hangs in the center of this 100 sq ft room. Blank walls, a beautiful view. I feel calm, happy and free of distraction here — the perfect home office for me.

So I sit down, prepare to write, and I stop. Something is missing. A lamp — I should shop for a lamp this afternoon. Then I caught myself.

The lack story.

Why am I constantly making this moment not enough? Why is there always lack? Why am I always stiving for something more?

I know it’s the ego. I know it only tells lies. I know it takes me from truth to untruth.

But stopping it is something else entirely. Awareness is first. It’s a step — toward leaning more fully into the now, allowing ourselves to enjoy the moment for what it is. It’s all there is.

If we can’t learn to live in the now, all we have are stories of our pasts, and dreams (or worries) of the future. But life is only right here, right now. Past and future are in the mind.

It’s a strange and elusive concept, but I’m betting it’s as beautiful as anything we can imagine once we break through the conditioned BS that keeps us here, in the lack.

Something in me knows that life is beautiful when I get out of my own way. I’ve had glimpses of it. It’s time to live here. Full-time.

Thanks for reading. Did you enjoy? Please tap the 💚 to recommend it to others. Namaste …


Hi! I’m Heather, a writer and yoga educator from SE Ohio. I share daily-ish here as part of my spiritual practice, and am working on my first book, Yoga Prayers. Download the first 25 pages, A Prelude to Yoga Prayers, for a brief introduction into yoga history and philosophy — and let me know what you think!

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