I was working with a client recently and passing on the messages and guidance from the angels and her spirit team. The messages were all about being in the flow and living in the present moment.
And it got me thinking.
When are you living?
Are you living in the present moment and relishing everything you are experiencing in the here and now? Are you living for the future and striving towards a goal or dream? Are you living in the past, stuck in the 'good old days' and not moving forward or regretting past choices and decisions?
When are you living?
Looking back to the days when I worked in corporate finance, I was very much living for the future. I didn't enjoy my job, it didn't light me up, it didn't give me purpose or meaning. And, so, I lived for the future.
What that looked like was going to the office on Monday morning and already thinking about what I would do at the weekend.
Living for the future became my normal behaviour, not only because I was unhappy in my job. It just became a habit.
I remember a time when I started to go on weekend visits to new cities. I would book a 2-day trip to visit a new city in a new European country. It wasn't every weekend, maybe once every few months.
One of those trips I can remember distinctly. It was to Oslo. I can remember walking round Oslo, taking in the scene and the architecture. But at the same time my mind was racing and thinking "where will I visit next?" I wasn't content and couldn't enjoy the present moment and the beautiful city I was currently visiting because my mind kept racing off into the future and making new plans.
And when I would visit the next city, I wouldn't be present because my mind would be thinking, scheming and planning my next city break.
At the same time, I was also living a lot of my life in the past, remembering experiences and things that had happened me (usually not so positive); memories and experiences which, at the time, felt like regret (I couldn't at the time see the lessons I had learnt from them nor how much I'd grown as a result).
When my mind was in the past, I couldn't move forward in the present.
One thing that kept rumbling away in my mind was a past relationship in which I had experienced a considerable amount of emotional abuse. Because my mind was always thinking about that relationship, chastising me about what I should've or could've done better, and regretting the years I had wasted, I was unable to meet anyone new. I wasn't open to letting someone new into my life because I had already decided, from past experience and regret, how things would turn out and how the person would treat me.
As in the angel card reading I gave to my client, the message that the angels want us to receive is that the only time that is important is the here and now. Worrying about the future or regretting the past won't change things. Living focused on the here and now and making the most of each and every day we get to enjoy is how we should live.
And one way that has helped me live in the present is gratitude.
When, for example, I'm out walking at the weekend through forests and countryside, I consciously express gratitude for everything that is around me. If I hear a bird sing in the tree, I thank the bird for its song, if I see a mushroom growing in the ground, I stop and admire its beauty (and usually take a photo), and when I'm walking through a forest I stop and look up into the branches of the tall trees above me and thank Mother Nature for her beauty.
Consciously expressing gratitude makes you stop and appreciate the present moment. It stops your mind racing to the future or looking back to the past. It centres your thinking and brings you into the present.
Now, don't get me wrong. I still find myself thinking of the future and what I want to achieve or looking back to the past to see what blocks and limiting beliefs I acquired from then that need to be clear. However as I continue to express gratitude, I find that I am more present in the present moment and more at peace.
When living in the present the other tool that goes hand in hand with gratitude is trust and letting go.
Trusting and letting go can be easier said than done, especially if you worry about the road ahead or feel the need to control every next step. What trusting and letting go means is exactly what my angels passed onto my client - "being in the flow". When you trust that the Universe has your back and that you don't need to see every step of the path ahead of you, and when you let go of outcomes and destinations, then you can better be in the present moment.
The angels, especially Raphael, have taught me a lot about trust and letting go, and I have come a long way over the last few years. I do, however, appeciate that I still have room to grow as trusting and, especially, letting go have never come easy for me.
I wonder, lovely soul, when are you living? If you're not living in the present and enjoying each moment that comes your way, then I invite you to express gratitude and practise trusting and letting go.
A couple of days after writing this blogpost, I came across a quote which I thought was quite apt and summed up what I've been saying here: "Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life" ~ Thich Nhat Hanh