Future Tense-ion

I am writing this blog piece now but I have to tidy up the house in a few minutes, I need to complete that assignment in an hour, I need to purchase the fertilizers for my indoor plants, I need to wake up early and set out to walk in the morning, I need to attend mass services then prepare breakfast, I need to crack that call with my boss and stakeholder, I need to make plans for Christmas, etc. Yes, I need to do all this in the future but these thoughts hover over my head now, all the time.

Still worse – when will everyone be inoculated against COVID-19? How will the economy turn out to be? What is the future of our jobs? How will I perform in the next quarter? What impression will my manager carry about me? How will the coming year turn out to be? And so on. This is a hazardous blend of procrastination and obsessing about the future.

Where is my present lost? It is far in the woods or deep in the caves. What an irony it is because though there is nothing closer to me than my present yet it’s out of the horizon of my vision. I do not feel it; I do not live in it. I am constantly agonizing myself with the future which I know nothing about. But I am brutally ignoring the present that wants me to know it. I cannot give even a 1% guarantee about the arrival of the future but the present struggles to provide me with 100% surety. The future never fails to disillusion me but the present is weary making me realize the reality.

There are only two reasons for disregarding anything or anyone so vividly yet unconsciously. The first reason is fear and the second is dislike. In the case of the tense, the fear of the future does not allow me to live in the present and the other tough fact is none of us is satisfied or gratified with our present so we persistently dream/think/worry about the future. These truths do not spare anyone, literally no one. It is dangerous and a major cause of stress.

So, how do we control this originator of stress – Our Thoughts! Mindfulness and Meditation are the answers. Mindfulness is nothing but experiencing the present. It is about being mindful of our existence, thoughts, and actions and taming them. It is the precursor to meditation. Meditation is being one with your higher self and gradually eliminating unwanted thoughts by focusing on the wanted ones.

Following are simple practices that you can adopt to live mindfully:

– Paint the walls of your home in cheerful colors. Frame photos of friends and families that conjure up fond memories. Decorate your home with lush and vibrant potted plants. These work on your visual senses.

– Soft music and nature sounds can also promote a more tranquil environment. This soothes your auditory senses.

– Try filling your space with pleasant scents from an essential oil diffuser or scented candles for their calming effects. This intoxicates your olfactory senses.

– Keep healthy snacks and plenty of water easily accessible. This satiates your gustatory senses.

– Massage your body with pure oils and feel the surface of your skin. Hug your beloved person, animal, or thing. Feel the delicate tactile senses.

– A simple breathing exercise can have a deep impact on your state of mind. It will increase your sense of ‘Proprioception’. Hear the sound of your breath and feel the rising and collapsing of your chest and stomach.

– Try gratitude meditation and write down one or two things you like about your job or life or your day.

– Empathy, or our ability to understand each other’s feelings and perspectives and show compassion toward them, is another way of being mindful.

– Being of some service to others within our capacity can work wonders for our humanity quotient.

– Try slowing down, making the food yourself, and eating purposefully. Choose live foods with a variety of different colors, textures, and flavors. Take the time to chew and appreciate each bite. Doing so is better for your digestion and can be very enjoyable and relaxing.

– Spending a little time outdoors can be another way to achieve mindfulness. And you don’t need to go to a far-off retreat to get the desired results; alll you have to do is take a walk around your neighborhood.

– If you have a creative hobby, this can also be a good opportunity to practice mindfulness. Spend some time doing what you enjoy and just be in the moment of creation.

– Engage in physical activities you are passionate about.

– Scan your body, run through each part of the body mentally, pay special attention to the way each area feels. The scan usually moves systematically from the toe to the head.

– Guided meditation is a pragmatic way to focus. It is mindful listening that offers a break from focusing on the self or our response. This form of listening can create an inner stillness. The listener is not distracted by the inner chatter.

I am sure I have tempted you enough and you might be all ready to dive into the mindful haven of the present. We are by default very restless in nature and therefore would require disciplining ourselves to practice mindfulness. It would not be easy initially, but like any other skill it can be attained through regular practice and strong will. Once you are in the habit, the feeling of living in the present tense will be blissful. When you live in the present, there would be no space or time for Future tense-ion!

One thought on “Future Tense-ion

  1. Beautiful and much needed in today’s time when the uncertainties are beyond once’s reach and control 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

    Like

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