A lot of the time, we lose valuable experiences that take place in the present moment because we are busy “living” our lives in our heads, either lost in the memories of the past, or fantasizing about the future, where life will be better. It’s difficult to stay planted in the present moment, because that is where our minds don’t want to stay.
Men tend to avoid the experience of their emotions and feelings by living in the past or the future, and have a difficult time dealing with the present moment. Some men avoid their present moment experience by staying in their heads all of the time, and “thinking too much.” Some just avoid the present moment by not having their experience of anger, of pain, of sadness, or of grief. The failure to attend to these crucial experiences means that we have to find surrogate places to be.
Growing up, many of us learned to stuff our emotions or feelings, and started creating a life that avoided the pain of the present moment. It was too hard then, and it’s too hard now. We build lives on top of these individual experiences of pain, fear and sadness, and then lament when our problems are getting the best of us. We forget that we are the ones that created a lot of the problems that we experience, because it’s been too long and our problems have been embedded in our lives for as long as we can remember.
Learning to be in the present moment is truly living our lives, and not living in the false realities of the past and future. It is difficult for people to do this type of living, especially when there are many places inside of us that are too scary to revisit.
Meditation, yoga, therapy, and other vehicles of mindfulness are all ways to get back into the beauty of the present moment. Deep breathing is also a practice into accessing the present moment.
Learning to have our feelings and experiences, and then communicating them to the ones we love is a form of acceptance of the present moment. We are truly living our lives when we do this.