The only thing you really have in life is this current moment. Where your attention rests, your life rests, and when your attention is turned towards worries about the future or second guessing the past, your life becomes worrisome.
I’ve spent lots of my life worrying about negative outcomes. I’ve lost sleep stuck in worry mode. I’ve heard clients generate all sorts of unnecessary misery as they work to confirm worst case scenarios and how their lives will fall apart when these things happen to them. Whether or not there is validity to my worries or my clients’ worries, the only thing I have control over is the current moment.
The current moment brings me back to earth: The sound of the heater kicking in, the hum of a passing car, and the tapping noises on the keyboard. If I take care of this current moment, I am taking care of my current life stressors. The only way I can prepare for the future is to take care of the current moment. I can only do one thing at a time.
Mindfulness calls us to attend to what is going on right now in this moment. I sometimes have my clients do an exercise in which they spend five minutes writing sentences starting with “Right now” or “In this moment”. When a person can bring their attention to the present, they can reduce worry thoughts and overwhelming life circumstances and take control of just this one little slice of time.
Right now, in this moment, I have just reduced my stress. I am always seeking out reminders that ground me in the moment, that connect me to the air I breathe and the earth that sustains me. And I’m always looking for ways to give this back to clients.