All wise souls say the key to happiness is always to live in the present moment. Easier said than done! But it’s something that’s good to aim for. There was some phrase about someone on their deathbed saying ‘I had a lot of terrible things happen in my life – most of which never actually happened’. So many people spend their time lamenting about the past (it’s gone – it’s the past) or worrying about the future. Today is all we have, we could be gone tomorrow. That’s why often it’s good to look at playing dogs or children, as they naturally live in the moment.
Today me will live in the moment. Unless it’s unpleasant. In which case, me will eat a cookie. Cookie Monster
In the Bible, there is a story about Lot’s wife (never named). She turned back and was turned into a pillar of salt. Frances Verbeek says ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else!’ Try to look forward rather than back, but don’t forget the moment you’re in!
the benefits of mindfulness & meditation
Mindfulness is simply thinking in the moment. Meditation is more slowing your brain waves down to alpha level, which can even change the brain (some people who meditate for years develop new gifts like becoming gifted artists). Neither is religious though Catholics may pray the Rosary or Hindus chant chant Sanskrit Mantras). This concert by Deva Premal & Miten is a great example of how to have fun, while chanting a mantra! German Deva was chanted out of the womb by her father, and she chanted him back out of this world. She met burned-out-rock star Miten at a retreat while he was recovering, and they’ve been together ever since. Her haunting vocals and his funky guitar riffs have made them the best-selling mantra artists in the world.
If you want help on being more mindful, we love the blog Always Well Within, run by a Buddhist who lives on the beautiful island of Hawaii. Her online space makes you relaxed just by being there. She doesn’t succumb to any ‘higher being’, she just lives her life in the moment, and seems to be pretty happy and balanced, a great inspiration if you live on your nerves all the time.
The founder of Headspace (the most popular meditation app in the world) is a former monk who left England to learn Eastern religions, to recover from personal tragedy. Or try Hallow, a Catholic meditation app devised by a former atheist.
Read Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics! This book is by a former American news anchor, who thought meditation was for people who collected crystals and played the pan pipes. But after he had a panic attack on live TV, he went on a journey to become one of its most vocal fans. From lowering blood pressure to helping anxiety and rewiring your brain, what’s holding you back?
go on safari – in your back garden!
The Year of Sitting Dangerously is the story by Simon Barnes, whose trip to a Zambian safari was put on hold, due to the pandemic. So instead he walked to a folding chair at the bottom of his garden, and sat down. His itinary is to sit in that same spot each day for a year to see (and hear) what happens all around him.
As he watches the world around him change each day, he begins to see his surroundings in a new way. And by restricting himself, he opens up new horizons and grows closer to a world he thought he knew well. Simon Barnes is the writer of many books on nature and wildlife. He is a council member of World Land Trust and patron of Save the Rhino. Awarded the Rothschild Medal for services to conservation, he lives in Norfolk, where he manages several acres for wildlife.