What about today?

They say that when you focus on the past you may become sad. When you focus on the future you can create angst. Focusing on either prevents us from the things that are in the present moment. There is so much that goes on around us, can you take time to observe what’s going on right now? Where are you physically? What do you see, smell, feel with your hands? If you are thinking about something, were you aware of those thoughts? Were you in deep thought like a day dream?

So, what about today? I can be a challenge to not go too far into the future or too far back into the past and focus on the here and now. We are plagued with so many responsibilities that prevents us from taking time for self care. I’ve heard people say that you make time for what is important to you, so when someone says “I don’t have time” they may be referring to something that is not as essential to them to try to make the time.

Just maybe, when you’re sitting there in idle time or going to bed at night and your mind wanders, that may be the right time to bring yourself to the present, for just one minute and just notice. Focus your thoughts on the present moment of settling to sleep instead of what you have to do tomorrow or what you forgot to do today. There is religious text that notes “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I find that text to be a reminder to try to keep my mind and thoughts on the present. With the world as it is and the stress that’s on our shoulders as human being, mindfulness techniques have been increasingly floating around. But it’s not a recent phenomenon, mindfulness, meditation, relaxation, and yoga practices have been around for a very long time.

To simplify the philosophy of meditation and mindfulness, taking a moment to remind yourself about today can be “I can’t control what’s going on in the future, but I can have control over what I’m doing right now.” When you say that, you can start focusing on something that you can do in the moment, as in get up and maybe do the dishes or finish the laundry, take a walk or drive, make a phone call to someone you care about or finish a task that you might not have had time in the past to complete. And every time your mind wanders too far forward or backward, bring it back in to where you are today. Don’t forget about today.

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