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Divorce - How to Live in the Present Moment

Divorce is tough, and for a lot of people it'shard to let go of the past. Here's a common question I receive from myclients: "My hardest challenge is staying in the now instead of thepast and future."Staying in the now means being fully aware,conscious and dealing with what is happening to us right here, rightnow. Living in the moment is where our true joy and vitality exists.Like exercising a muscle that hasn't been used much, with somediscipline and tools you can make living in the present moment therule, rather than the exception.Human beings are very gifted atliving in both the past and the future. Our ego-mind can take us backto the past, re-examining details of our lives and re-experiencing thefeelings that happened. This is where we can get trapped in the"shoulda-woulda-coulda" internal dialogue.We also are skilled atprojecting into the future. We grind through "what if this happens,then what?" scenarios. When we live in the past or future, instead ofcreating our lives, we are simply reacting to our lives. It gets worse,though, because each time we hold these reactive thoughts, we solidifythe neural connections within our brain that generate thoseexperiences. It's like we continue to lay down the track within ourbrain circuitry to a destination we really don't want to be headingbecause it leaves us powerless and unhappy.So how do you stay inthe now instead of re-living the past or forecasting the future? Themost important tool is to develop an awareness of your thoughts. Withawareness, you start to be able to have choices rather than stayingstuck in a default where you are reacting out of the past or future.When you notice yourself living in the past, stop and pause. You caneven choose to give yourself a time limit and say "OK, I'll give myself5 more minutes to stew about this but then I am going to move on."Writingin a journal or speaking them out loud to yourself to break the trance.Expressing them can help drain these repetitive thoughts from yourconsciousness and leave you clearer to enjoy the present moment. Takesome deep, belly breaths and bring your attention only to the movementand sound of your breath. This helps to quiet your mind. Disciplineyourself to look just for the baby step in this moment. Don't getsidetracked trying to plan 50 moves ahead of where you are right now.Meditation, taking time to sit quietly in nature or mindfulnesspractices like yoga can help give you experiences of being in thepresent. A great resource on this topic is Eckhardt Tolle's The Power of Now.

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