Living in the moment (?)

We are often urged to live in the moment, or to stop and smell the roses But not all moments are made of roses. Some are made of shit. So should you stop and smell the shit? Not a catchy slogan, but: yes.

Of course we should be more attuned to the good things life has to offer. But we should be more attuned to everything life has to offer. We often escape the difficult or painful  through keeping busy, entertainment, work, socializing, projects - name your own distractions. You can fill a whole life with them. And find yourself at the end with the nagging feeling that you haven't really lived.

Some of the painful things we ban out of awareness are very common: your job is not fulfilling; your relationships are deteriorating; or, one thing that's on my mind these days, your parents are getting older, and you haven't figured out a way to make sense of the fact that they will die, and to connect with them or give back in a way that's meaningful in the face of their death. We are taught to focus on the positive, so often we keep the painful at bay. 

Living in the moment means noticing that your current task at work is useless; that you're snapping at your spouse; or that you're not picking up the phone when mom calls. Living in the moment means being fully aware of these facts, interpreting their meaning for the overall life you want to live, and letting that meaning guide your actions... more

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