How To Live In A Present Moment With Death As Your Helper
Do you live in the here and now?
Or do you get up and think about work already? While at work, do you anticipate the end of work without focusing much on what’s the task right now? And after work? Are you pondering over the next day? Let me make you understand the concept of how to live in a present moment and its importance.
Where you are dwelling this instance is anything but life in the here and now. It is a constant escape into the future.
Meanwhile, life runs through your fingers.
“But how do you manage to really live in the here and now? Our mind is constantly moving into the future or the past. ”
You can stop that. And there is a very simple but also very effective method:
We have to quit thinking that we would live forever
At least 95 percent of the people live as if they could.
Here is a short story:
A man opened a drawer of his wife’s chest and retrieved a lavishly designed package.
Inside was a precious silk scarf. He looked at the silk and reverently ran his fingers over the shawl.
“I bought it for my wife a few years ago, but she never wore it.
She wanted to keep it for a special occasion.
I think the moment has come.”
He went to the bed and put the package to the other things the undertaker would pick up.
Why you make the same mistake if you do not learn to live in the present?
I call it the immortality complex
Just like the woman did with the scarf, we save life for later.
We never unpack it properly and use this precious gift.
We take care of all these supposedly important things, such as…
the chic home,
the fancy car,
and secure retirement.
We prepare a life for later. We focus on accumulating money, reputation and collateral, but we postpone true life and enjoyment as if we were immortal.
Yes, of course, I would like to make a world trip now, but that costs time and money. At the moment this is not possible. But, no worries, because I will definitely do it once I retire.
Of course, I would now like to spend more time with my family and watch the children grow up. But someone has to bring home the bacon.
Naturally, I would like to be happy and blissful here and now. But I have to complete my education, study, exam…preparation of this cup of tea first.
I ask you: But what if this is your last day today?
You cannot put off life forever. We always live only for the future and set up life until it is too late at some point.
When we finally come to the point to really face the end of our lives, we suddenly realize that. Unfortunately, then it is too late for us.
That’s why it’s priceless advice to make you aware of these things before. Stop procrastinating, start living today, be mindful and cherish what you have right NOW.
For heaven’s sake… unpack and wear the precious scarf during your lifetime!
Yes, even if it gets dirty and wears itself off! The ugly truth is that you are not immortal! And that’s not the bad news, but the good news! For as paradoxical as it sounds, death helps you make better use of your life in the here and now.
Life in the here and now -The paradoxical reason why and how death aids you.
Yes, it is an unpleasant topic, as many people are afraid of death, and so was I. Most of us are reluctant to think that they will die at some point. The opposite is the case: People ever so often suppress this fact and every thought concerning the topic.
That’s bad because death is a very important part of life. It only makes life possible, just the same as there would be no dusk without dawn and vice versa.
Besides, there are many more reasons not to be afraid of death. The end of our life cycle has a very special quality that is relevant to us here – The awareness of death helps us to live in the present moment.
“How is this supposed to work? Death is the opposite of life! ” Well, let me try to explain to you how death helps you to live in the here and now.
Imagine you had to die in a year. How would you spend this remaining time?
More of everything? Work more, buy things, accumulate property, take out insurance or save for retirement?
Or would you try to make the most of each and every one of these last 365 days? Spending them with friends and family, enjoying nature and life and doing things you’ve always wanted to do?
I bet you tend to go for the second option. Me too.
The glaring thing about this is that the certainty of being able to live one more year is really generous! If we look reality in the eye, it can happen to any of us tomorrow … Or even today!
Who guarantees that you will be 50, 60 or even 90 years old?
Yes, there are certain tendencies and statistics, but is that a warranty that YOU too are going to reach this age? For each of us, life can be over in the next second!
And how many people has death caught unexpectedly and in the prime of their lives? Countless souls!
What if you knew that you would not die next year, but the next moment? What would you do with this last glimpse of time?
The best, of course! You would enjoy it to the maximum and be fully present, no matter where you are and what you are doing right now.
That is the power that the consciousness of death grants us. It puts a kind of a switch in our head., making us aware of the urgency of life and disabling the immortality complex.
Panic Disorder taught me to live in the present – I am forever grateful.
And the seemingly absurd about it is: The more you learn to live in the here and now, the less fear of death you will harbor within.
Believe me, I suffered from a profound panic disorder, which was accompanied by agoraphobia. Learning to live in the present moment was part of my healing success without any prescription medicine or psychotherapies.
You have everything you need now and here and you are no longer dependent on the future or the past. All these findings are not new discoveries, either.
How death helped the ancient Romans to live in the here and now
“Memento Mori” already said the old Stoics:
“Be aware of the mortality”
If you are aware that your life may be over at any moment, you live it much more intense and are able to perceive and savor the moment much better.
You do not waste your precious life:
1. wishing you could turn back the hands of time or to wish for living in the future
2. being afraid of events in the future
3. accumulating, purchasing things you don’t even need to secure your future
4. complaining or constantly seeing yourself as a victim
Consider death. Consider your mortality.
1. This brings you right into the here and now.
2. Rumination takes away your fear.
3. It enhances your awareness in regards to what really matters in life.
4. Reflection makes you less dependent and hands you the power over your life.
In short, awareness of your mortality helps you to live better and in the here and now. As soon as you know how valuable life is, you do not want to waste any more of it.
Perhaps you are also familiar with the appeal that the Roman poet Horaz derived from it:
It means something like “picking the day” or simply “live now”.
“But just living today and not thinking about the future cannot be right.”
How death helps you prepare for your future
Of course, it is still important to think about the future and make provision for retirement. However, it all depends on the focus. If you just concentrate on looking out for the future, life will go by you unnoticed.
It’s like a photo:
You can either focus on a subject/object in the foreground or on one in the background, instead.
The subject/object in the foreground is life now, the moment.
The future is the background.
When you focus on the background, everything that is in the foreground becomes blurry. Basically, the true essence of the picture fades away because you just don’t notice it.
If you, however, focus on the moment and the life in the here and now, then the subject/object is clearly visible and it appears even more vibrant, due to the slightly blurred background.
Thus, we do not have to completely ignore the future of life at the moment.
In fact, awareness of your mortality helps you shape your future and find out what you really want. In addition, the awareness of death helps against procrastination
How death helps you step into action (now!)
When you realize how limited a resource is, you start to use it much better. That’s how it is with time, too.
For example, have you ever wanted to …
write a book,
to travel around the world
or make yourself independent?
If we think we still have plenty of time for all these things, then we keep dragging one’s feet. We do not take any action, because now it just does not seem timely suitable. Plus, we can always still do it at some other point.
However, when we realize how scarce and precious our life actually is, we start putting in some elbow grease and use our time better.
How death helps you to conclude with your past
After all, death still helps you cope with your legacy. Anyone who realizes how treasurable his lifetime is, does not want to waste it on mourning the lost opportunities and mistakes of the past.
We can observe this phenomenon often particularly well in the dying. They want to clarify their affairs before they pass over.
Because they realize how unhelpful it is to be resentful, unforgiving and to record events of the past.
They notice that it does more harm than good, thus, they decide to set the past free. And those who manage to let go of their personal history are free to experience the present moment.
All right, then. The awareness of our mortality helps us tremendously to live more in the here and now and to make the best of it. There is only one question left – How do you realize this urgency Personally, I have found three very effective ways:
Three shockingly simple ways to live immediately in the moment
The first sounds a bit macabre, but is extremely effective and actually quite natural, because it meets each of us sooner or later in life:
1) Use strokes of fate to your advantage
For example, if a loved one dies, it will rip us out of routine.
We suddenly realize that we just do not live forever and that life can be over in no time. As bad and sad as these blows of fate are, they offer us a great opportunity for our own lives.
Often, people who have suffered such a terrible loss, then go on living more at the moment and, not infrequently, reorient their living conditions/ lifestyles. For example, less work and more activities with friends and family. The true value of loved ones suddenly becomes crystal clear to them.
Thus, even one of the worst imaginable events – the death of a near and dear one – may harbor something good for our lives in addition to all the grief and suffering.
If we recognize and accept it, that is.
Incidentally, the same also applies to diseases and other calamities, whether they concern yourself or relatives.
But, of course, you do not have to wait until a dear relative dies or something else bad happens. Just be aware that supposedly negative events in your life always have the potential for you to grow. When the next wave hits you, this awareness will help you.
However, there are two additional ways to make you aware of the urgency of life:
2) Use symbols
The classic: For example, a skull on the desk. Artists and philosophers used it for hundreds of years. No, it does not have to be a real skull. A replica does suffice.
I also have such a replica on my desk or on a small shelf above it. It reminds me every time I look up that my life is precious and that I want to do something meaningful with it.
Some people also carry around a certain coin that reminds them or any other object. Even tattoos work or a well-placed poster with a corresponding slogan or picture. So, you can be creative here. Pick something that personally speaks to you.
3) Use the brevity of your life
The last tip is just as uncomfortable as the first one. But at least as effective:
Realize that your life is much shorter than you always think!
We have just seen that it is a kind of immortality complex that makes us focus on anything but on life in the here and now. The awareness of death helps us to live in the here and now because:
For each of us, life can be over in the next moment!
However, we mostly only live for the future and prepare for life until it is too late at some point. In this case, awareness of your mortality helps you. If you discover how precious your lifetime is, you do not want to waste any more of it.
Now it’s your turn. Carpe Diem! Have you mastered the skill of how to live in a present moment? How does it feel like to you? Are you experiencing the bliss in, the satiation from and the gratitude for life through your awareness?
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Remember, no matter what you are doing at the very moment, that you are precious, unique, beautiful and unconditionally loved. We are all part of the Universe, thus, all one and responsible for each other.
Let’s stick together and build a brand new world based on love through our positive thoughts and fulfilling, inspired actions.
I’m sending you much love, harmony, joy and an abundance of good that there is. Keep on sparklings. ~Namaste~