Mindful of the Moment

I can’t listen to the news or read Facebook entries without thinking how much we are all absorbed by time. The past, present, and future – our heads jump from one to the other as if our minds had cubicles for each. Most of us spend little “time” in the present, at least in our heads. We forget that we are always living moment to moment. Thoughts of the past are only memories, re-lived in our heads, and the future has not arrived.

No matter how many psychologists and spiritual leaders tell us to live in the NOW…thoughts of regrets and mistakes creep into each moment. Bad memories can slow us down, and for some, are debilitating. Most often, no one else remembers the events that bother us.

Do we really have to re-live the past?

Many of us project our past into the future as if we are walking on some type of “TIME LINE” and feel that we MUST continue on the same course. At least that is our fear. We’re depressed about the past and in fear or anxious we will get the same or worse, tomorrow, next week, or next year.

We also get high hopes for the future when we think of what we have accomplished in the past. Accomplishments give us a feeling that we can and will continue to succeed in the future.

Either way, bad memories or good, aren’t we still projecting some self-image from the past, into a future image?

What about the moment? Can’t we change direction? The past is gone. The future has not arrived. Certainly, I can redirect my thoughts in the moment.

All I have is this moment. I can choose to alter my thoughts – to change now. Most of us will agree that when our thoughts change, so do our feelings. Our memories are powerful and provide a great service. We have a tendency to misuse our memories.

It’s difficult at first, our thoughts seem to “control” us, but that is our choice. Once we are aware that we can change our thoughts, new possibilities are immediately expanded, right now, in this moment.

8 thoughts on “Mindful of the Moment”

  1. Tim, I agree with you. Everything that ever happens in my life happens in the present.
    No matter how nice the day was yesterday, it’s over. No matter how nice I think up tomorrow, it doesn’t yet exist. Tomorrow is nothing more than an idea in my head.

    1. Hello, I find that artists are very open to a variety of paradigms. I think creators, by practice, are mindful. I see art as a spiritual practice. Thank you for visiting.

  2. I enjoyed this interesting and insightful post Tim, particularly the bit ‘what about the moment, can’t we change direction’. Because you’re right, we only have ‘this moment’ and in ‘this moment’ we can choose our thoughts, which will in turn affect our feelings and behaviours in true CBT style. It’s not always easy, particularly if people are prone to mental illness. But it can be done.

    1. Thank you and thank you for leaving a comment. Yes, mindfulness is very important if not critical to CBT and DBT. It is amazing to watch someone’s face when they realize they have control over what they think and how they feel. It is difficult but giving oneself permission to do so is empowering. I also appreciate the time you spend on your articles on your website. It is very helpful. Have a great week.

  3. You’re most welcome Tim, I enjoy reading your insightful and informative posts. My two now adult sons knew about CBT and DBT models when they were young teenagers as we were all studying together at the time (them for school and me for work lol). They often share it with friends who are struggling.

    I agree, it’s great when people understand and their faces light up. It’s like that ‘aha!’ moment.

    Thank you for your kind words, they’re much appreciated Tim. And you have a great weekend too. Caz.

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