Sometimes, it is tough for me to live in the moment. I mean, daydreaming is okay once in a while, as long as I come back. But other times - I get completely disoriented. "How did I get here? Which way do I go? How did this happen?" It can be an uncomfortable place to be lost, the past or the future. But I do it a lot, and neither place is a good place for me to linger; what should have been, how it must be. It can get pretty bad, pretty quickly.
There is an anonymous 12-step group that I attend (multiple of them, actually), and they constantly remind me to take it “one day at a time” and just make it “twenty-four more.” It took me a long time to realize that they were telling me to accept the past, and not worry about a future that is yet to be written. Instead, they said, “Focus on now," because now is all we have. "Let's get through the woods and find the path."
That’s what I like about mindfulness and meditation. It’s the mindfulness that brings me back to my surroundings, to where I am at. It grounds me and brings me to now, this moment. Not the past. Not the future. And meditation gives me time to be still and calm. To sit and listen. There may be no message to be heard, except for peace, but that alone can bring tranquility and serenity.
Someone once explained to me that meditation is “to listen,” and prayer is “to express and ask.” So during my mindful meditation practice, I also toss in prayer. I try to practice this daily (for the most part), sometimes multiple times throughout the day.
When I do this, and I start my day off accepting my past, young and old, and releasing my future, near and far, I usually have a much better day. I still have my life-bumps, and they can hurt. But if I live in this very moment, mindfully watch my next step, and listen to what I’m being told - then when I do ask for guidance, I can usually hear it.