If I could really recommend something, I suppose it would be to be in the moment and stay in the moment. What does it mean to live fully in the present moment, you may be asking? Well, here is my take on it: Living in the moment means that your awareness is totally centered on this moment on time. We are here … reading this, for example. It means we are not worrying about the dishes sitting in the sink or contemplating the uncomfortable conversation with a friend yesterday. Living in the moment means you are living in the middle of life, as it is occurring. Lately, I have realized that I spend much of my time thinking and pondering about what used to be and what tomorrow is supposed to look like, so much so that I forget about where I am in this moment. I forget to appreciate all the wonder that is in the here and now. But how am I supposed to stop and think about what is happening in this moment when I have so much to do today? I have a bat mitzvah coming up and I haven’t bought the gift. The dog food is nearly gone. I am out of cleaning supplies and paper goods so I know I need to go to the store. I can’t forget to call back the doctor for the blood test results. And what about the story I’m working on? I have my own imaginary deadline. There are so many things I need to do. Did I make a good impression at the wedding last night? Where am I? I’m definitely not in the here and now. It’s difficult to keep one’s focus on the moment at hand. But I think I have found an easy fix. I realize that at the start of my day I really need to pay attention to where I am standing. Where are my feet planted? Am I breathing? When I am focused on where I am standing, I have a greater chance of staying in the here and now. Then I look around and ask myself, “What it is that is waiting for me to discover and express?” I must accept the fact that whatever is happening in my current experience is supposed to be happening, or it wouldn’t be. I try not to question fate as to the whys because that brings me into a place of victim, rather than victor. In this moment, I choose to embrace the experience and empower myself by appreciating that everything has some type of meaning and lesson for me. I have been practicing being in the moment lately. This means that when I catch myself dwelling about an incident from yesterday, or thinking about what is supposed to happen tomorrow, I stop, pause and look at where my feet are planted. In that one moment I am truly alive, free to create my present experience. I can see how the past keeps creating my future and when I am conscious of this, I get to make another choice. I get to forgive the past and embrace the now. Being in the now allows me to create the moment where I perceive life as happening for me rather than to me. I understand that I cannot change the past. When I play the old tape where I say, “Stacey, you could have done that differently, or said this another way,” I end up living in judgment and wasting much energy. The sun is going to come out tomorrow, no matter what I say about it. I can’t predict anything, so playing future scenarios in my head is just a waste as well. It’s a waste of brain energy and time that I can spend listening to others, spending time in nature or just being totally okay about being myself I must keep remembering that the now is all I have. The past is just a story, an illusion that doesn’t really exist in this moment. The future is a complete mystery, and is also an illusion because it really doesn’t exist. Tomorrow is only a concept waiting to happen. I think when I am living in the moment; I am living in acceptance. In accepting life as it is now, not as how I wish it would have been. When I’m living in acceptance, I realize everything is complete as it is. I can forgive myself for the past mistakes, and I can have peace in my heart knowing that everything that should happen will happen. There is great freedom, wonder, and mystery in the present. I guess that’s why it’s called a gift! Have an amazing moment!