In our previous blog post, we looked at what keeps us out of the now. Primarily there are two factors which keeps us in a time and place other than the present: the future and the past. We looked at what tempts us to stay in the future and the past. Living in the past means not letting go of what we cannot change. Living in the future means having a need to control what is coming next. Ultimately, living in the present means living without attachment to the past or future. At any given time, our lives are made up of a constantly increasing counter, adding up all the experiences, input, and influences of our life. Our past builds our present, but doesn’t have to define it. Our future is coming one present moment at a time no matter how hard we worry about or try to analyze it. Staying in either the past or the present attaches us to thoughts which aren’t present, thereby blocking the natural flow of life. When we’re distracted by what has been or what is to be, we are no longer able to connect to what is, right here, right now. We have to release our tight survivalist grip on both the past and the future in order to live as fully in the present as possible.
If it is our first time trying to become aware of when we are in the past or the future, we aren’t used to the practice of observing our own thoughts, noticing our behaviors, or paying attention to the triggers which inspire us to latch on to times other than now. Mindfulness is exactly the practice we need. Through mindfulness practices or mindfulness meditation, we train our mind to become an observer, as much as a participant. Mindfulness allows us to be aware without being attached to judgment or being consumed by non-awareness. As soon as we are aware, we cannot be unaware any longer. The more we notice what puts us in the past or brings us into the present, the more we can pay attention to our responses, how it makes us feel, and what we want to do to change. As a result, we are tremendously in the present and working towards putting ourselves more into the natural flow of life.
At Tree House Recovery, a men’s addiction treatment program in Portland, Oregon, we strive to help men create a natural flow of life which eliminates all limitations for them. Finding freedom from addiction through sustainable change, men create a limitless life in sobriety full of endless possibility. To find out what is possible for you, call us today: (503) 850-2474