How to Live in The Now
How many times have you told yourself the Story of Later…?
Inside your head it sounds something like:
Once I lose these last few pounds, I’ll treat myself to new clothes.
Once the summer is in full swing, I’ll finally be able to relax.
Once someone falls in love with me, I’ll learn to love myself.
Once I get a new job, I’ll feel better about where I am in my career.
Once things calm down, I’ll commit to a daily exercise routine.
Once I get this raise, I’ll shop only at the farmers market from now on.
Later, once the kids are out of the house, I’ll really focus on myself and my health.
When we tell ourselves the Story of Later, what we’re really saying is “I don’t deserve beautiful experiences. I don’t deserve pleasure. I don’t deserve to feel good about myself. I don’t deserve kindness from others or myself. Maybe one day I will…but not yet, and not now.”
Would you ever speak this way to a child? Would you ever say to your daughter, “You can have a hug… later.” Or, “Change your body and then maybe you can have a skirt that fits you.” Or, “Maybe you can play outside in the sunshine in a few months, but not today.” You’d probably never say these things to a child or to a friend, yet many of us say these words to ourselves every day.
I think most of us are guilty of putting our happiness on hold. We get bogged down in our busy lives, powering through times of stress or overwhelm, and find ourselves postponing the things we really want – and sometimes, the things we really need. Those things end up existing only in some impossible future realm that we never…quite…reach.
But why postpone comfort, pleasure, beauty, and joy until some indeterminate, unclear time in the future? Why not now? Because feeling happy doesn’t mean you’re not working to improve. It just means you’re enjoying the journey as much as the destination.
So instead of… Once I lose these last few pounds, I’ll treat myself to new clothes. Try… I deserve to look as good as I feel, today and every day.
Instead of… Once the summer is in full swing, I’ll finally be able to relax. Try… I deserve a few deep breaths right now, to find my center and keep myself feeling strong and determined.
Instead of… Once someone falls in love with me, I’ll learn to love myself. Try… I deserve to find love, because I’m a person worth loving. (And I do love myself!)
Instead of… Once I get a new job, I’ll feel better about where I am in my career. Try… I deserve to celebrate my progress, not just with milestones, but with each successful day and moment.
Instead of… Once things calm down, I’ll commit to a daily exercise routine. Try… I deserve to take time to move my body, no matter how many other commitments are vying for my time.
Instead of… Once I get this raise, I’ll shop only at the farmers market from now on. Try… I deserve to eat what tastes and feels great, wherever it comes from, all the time.
Instead of… Once the kids are out of the house, I’ll really focus on myself and my health. Try… I deserve to feel great – and my kids deserve me at my best.
And if you forget, I’m here to remind you: you deserve all of it…NOW!
So, stop living for later, and start living NOW!
Now It’s Your Turn: Do you tell yourself the Story of Later? Let us know how you plan to flip the script and write a new story – the Story of Now…! – in the comments.