The truth is we’ll all be dying in a moment.
When you look back at your life so far, how quickly has it gone by? Long and drawn out, or has the time gone by in the snap of your fingers?
At death’s door most people say: “My life went by in a flash.”
Why? Because many of us spend most of our lives in our heads thinking—and on autopilot. That’s why days, weeks, years and whole lives fly by without a connection to the time spent.
None of us will, or even can, be continuously present all the time, but if you choose to remember—often—to pay attention to what’s happening NOW, you could stretch out your experience of time and in a way, lengthen your life.
What is happening NOW?
Can you remember a moment when you really felt alive and awake—when you engaged yourself in your experience so thoroughly that there were no thoughts—just pure awareness of what was happening around you? Perhaps this was a walk on the beach or in the woods or a time when you really connected with another person.
Some people seek moments that demand intense attention such as high risk sports– hang gliding, river rafting, rock climbing or race car driving— activities where you cannot afford, even a moment, to concern yourself with anything other than what you are doing. These people seek the Zone as a way to really feel ALIVE. This is a state of pure awareness—of being connected to what is happening NOW.
But most of us don’t get into extreme sports.
What excites me, is that us normal folk can experience this pure awareness in every day activities, if we remember to take notice and pay attention to whatever we’re doing.
The key is connecting . . .
The key to connecting with the present moment is to get out of my head and into my body—actually into my sensations. This includes noticing—paying exquisite attention—even during the most mundane everyday experiences. When I stop to hear, see, smell, taste, touch everything that comes into my awareness, I begin to notice what it feels like to be awake and alive.
Slow down and notice
In our Live Conscious Retreats we practice sensory awareness—where we practice slowing ourselves down enough to NOTICE what we are experiencing in the moment. Right now you are likely sitting on something while reading this blog.
Notice the surface your bottom is touching—is it soft or hard, warm or cool? Notice any sounds coming your way. Notice the colors of everything in front of you. Bring your breath deep into your belly and notice the sensation of breathing.
If you really take the time to notice whatever is going on right now, this simple act of awareness can bring you into a version of the Zone.
Making up the bed, doing dishes, driving a car, gardening, cooking, eating, going for a walk can be used as vehicles for becoming present if we just get into our senses and pay attention.
And the more moments you are present for—the more connection you will have to your life. This is how to lengthen your life—this is how to avoid feeling like your life has gone by in a flash.
And start now before you forget—wherever you are, whatever you’re doing. Notice what’s happening NOW!