The Mindfulness Blog

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"You only live once". "Live in the moment". "Be present". There ought to be an emoji that represents those sentiments, but if there is, I'm not aware of it (big surprise--not ).

Typically, we attach significance to moments that are dramatic or outstanding--usually, in a positive way. But what about the ho-hum moments? What about the iffy moments? What about the downright bummer moments? Can we live in those moments, as well?

I know. A lot of you are thinking something like: "Why would I ever want to live in the fair-to-middling, or the really bad moments? I'd like to forget those moments not retain them, or explore them". But that's the point, isn't it? YOLO.

If the "highs" are all really high and the "lows" are all really low, there won't be much room left for anything in the middle. Ironically, that's where we spend most of our lives. Sure, there will always be good moments and bad moments. But, spoiler alert: Much of what happens in life is beyond our control, and there is nothing useful to be served in elevating things or catastrophizing things.

A very wise man once said, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. Life will happen. Be curious about it, and respond skillfully --it's how we respond that defines us. It's also the one thing we can work on and, to a certain extent, control. The rest, is largely serendipity. It just has a way of happening.

Colloquially speaking, much of living in the moment is an exercise in, "keeping it real". Sort of the opposite of what social media platforms like Facebook have become. Most of life is not lived on a beach, or wrapped in smiling comradery at a restaurant or a bar-- or with our arm around someone, in a posed grouping with a bunch of other people. I mean, I don't think so.

Finding contentment in the seemingly meaningless moments that make up much of life, is living in the moment. Accepting the crush of criticism or disappointment, is living in the moment. Enjoying pleasant occasions or reveling in moments with friends, is living in the moment. Learning to appreciate all those moments--that's the tricky part.

You (we) only live once. So let's live it-- all of it. The good, the bad and the in-between. We gotta live life, while we're living!


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