Developing the Skill of Living In The Now

1) Respect life.

Always remember…every day of your life is an important day! Every day matters in the grand scheme of things. Every sunrise is a gift. Every breath that you take is a blessing. Every heartbeat is a miracle. Every minute counts. Every hour is 60 minutes of possibilities. Cultivating the habit of focusing on what is, not what might be, or what was, is the way to live a happy, successful life. Relationships can end, status can fail, religion can delude, the economy can fluctuate…but “the now” is a constant. Regardless of where you are in your thoughts, in reality it is still always now!

2) Regularly follow a goal, but detach from the result.

Goals are important and necessary, but the subject of goal-setting is difficult to tackle when applying the now habit. How can you have a goal, which is based in the future, and still focus on the now? The answer is that goals give an overall direction to what you are doing today. You can work hard because of an inspiring goal, and still not be consumed by it. Emphasize your current actions over the end result of them. If getting the million dollars, the beautiful spouse or the perfect physique becomes more important to you than the path towards it, the goal can become a trap. As long as a goal serves to order how you live your everyday life, then it can help you focus on the now.

3) Remove resistance from your thought patterns.

Remember the truth of the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference”. Stop resisting what is. If you are stuck in a traffic jam, you are stuck in a traffic jam. You can’t center yourself in the now if you don’t accept it. Even if you are in a situation you don’t like or intend to change, you’ll be much happier as soon as you accept it right now as part of your current reality.

4) Really experience what you are doing.

Actually experience what you are doing! Think about it…how often do you eat a meal without really tasting the food? Listen to music without noticing the notes? Talk to your spouse without really listening? If you are going to do something, engage with/in it. Whether you choose to really experience something or not has no bearing on productivity. It takes the same amount of time to really taste a bowl of soup as it does to just slurp it down. But by choosing to focus on your current task, you can draw far more enjoyment and peace from it.

5) Rid yourself of ingratitude.

Spend a few moments every day in reflecting on that for which you are grateful. The more that you express your gratitude, the more you will have for which to be grateful. Gratitude isn’t expressed by saying, “Well it could be worse…” Gratitude means being happy now, instead of just believing that you’ll happy later. It means being thankful for the interesting challenges and opportunities life has given you today…in the now.

6) Reject any distractions to a meaningful life.

As much as is realistic for you…simplify your life! Cutting back on things that aren’t contributing to your overall growth helps you to focus on what really matters. When you are constantly surrounded by the noise of activities, the media, and people who aren’t adding anything to you, it is harder to focus on what really makes life worth living. You are the steward of your life and time…you have to take responsibility for how you spend it.

7) Release yourself to be fully engaged.

Inner peace doesn’t have to come from living a monastic life in the wilderness. Some of the happiest people you will ever meet are the ones most engaged in life. They are the ones who wake up knowing that they have a day full of exciting challenges and tasks ahead of them. There will always be moments for reflection, but by engaging yourself more, you do what the now habit is all about… living and not just existing. The more you use your time in a positive and proactive way, the more time you’ll have to use…the more you embrace living in the now, the more aware you will become of the power of it!

10 Responses to “Developing the Skill of Living In The Now”

  1. Number 3: my current reality is I’m stuck in a traffic jam…how strangely weird is that?
    I think it’s number 4…I’m grateful for a timely word @ LifeSkills tonight and for my internet capable phone and so far the cursor has stayed where it’s supposed to! Thanks Bishop!
    Ps: five cars & me have our lights off…everybody else must have full tanks!

  2. So True So True
    It’s well over time to change the words of our mouths .
    Change our own personal mindset.
    Walk in the way we are under the Father
    Quit giving in to what the world says
    Live in what God says
    Bishop you said what I have been feeling for a long time.
    I am so thankful for you and your/our ministry because you bring the real truth to the table.

  3. Good stuff.

  4. LifeSkills In the Now, especially the last 3 weeks has been right on time. It seems like I am asking God for help in certain areas and for direction and the topics have been exactly what I needed to hear. I am learning to walk in the now. I am creating an environment that allows me to thrive. Thank you for this word.

  5. Home now, a little past midnight…and I see it was #5 for taking a moment to be grateful, so here I am again…as far as I could tell, there was no accident…I’m grateful for that.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been tested so quickly on a Word before [or maybe I’ve failed and just didn’t realize I was being tested…anyway] it was a most pleasant hour and half sitting on I20. Got chilly…had a coat. Caught up on posts and twittered (tweeted?). Pondered the whole way home (which helped me stay awake) what God might be wanting me to know during the stillness.
    This Word sure sunk in…and it’s all good.

  6. About #5, it reminds me of Jacob wrestling with the man or the angel or God or himself….What I mean is, I have to find the blessing, the thing to be thankful for in everything, right now. All that I have thought to complain about since leaving the service tonight, I’ve had to rethink. Instead of grumbling about the things not done, I chose to see even the smallest accomplishments as victories. Now with a positive outlook and a grateful attitude, I am excited and energized to get more done.

  7. Dear Bishop,
    One Word you said tonight that will forever change every thing in my life.
    One of the inspirations Book I’ve been reading this year is: “Learning to Dance in the Rain.” and the Author’s quote is “Life’s not about waiting for the storms to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

    So, tonight life skills: Developing the Skill of Living in the Now Quotes #5 “RID YOURSELF OF GRATITUDE.”- Spend a few moments every day in reflecting on that for which you are grateful. — The power of Gratitude, the quotes was sent to me by a friend from NY some times ago. Tonight, when I heard you read quotes #5, I thought that’s it we all face adversity in our life. However, it’s not the adversity, but truly how we react to it, will determine the joy and happiness in our life. During the tough times do we spend too much time feeling sorry for ourselves, or can we, with Gratitude learn how to dance in the rain?
    When we choose not to focus on what’s missing from our lives, but are Grateful for the abundance that’s present; we experience heaven on earth. One word “Gratitude” can change your attitude in your life forever.

    To show you what I mean I like to share this short poem with you. THE WEATHER REPORT: By “BJ Gallanger.”

    “Any day I’m vertical
    Is a good day”
    ….that’s what I always say.
    If you ask me,
    “How are you?
    I’ll answer, GREAT”
    because in saying so,
    I make it so.

    When Life gives me dark clouds and rain,
    I appreciate the moisture
    that brings a soft curl to my hair.

    When Life gives me sunshine,
    I gratefully turn my face up
    to feel its warmth on my cheeks.

    When Life brings fog,
    I hug my sweater around me
    And give thanks for the cool shroud of mystery
    That makes the familiar seem different and intriguing.

    When Life brings snow,
    I dash outside to catch the first flakes on my tongue,
    Relishing the icy miracle that is snowflakes.
    Life’s events and experiences
    Are like the weather-
    They come and go,
    No matter what my preference.
    So, what the heck?!
    I might as well decide to enjoy them.
    For indeed,
    There is a time for every purpose
    Under Heaven.
    And each season brings its own unique blessings.

  8. Respecting life is one of those life skills that I feel particulary gateful and appreciative toward. There are some experiences we have in our lives that let us know just how precious a breath of air is. This really got my attention to hear a more important message to me further in the paragraph and that is; “Cultivating the habit of focusing on what is, not what might be, or what was, is the way to live a happy, successful life.” One of my favorite things to think about is the good places we are going and sometimes miss some of the good things are going on.

    There is much to say about the what I got out of the other six points also but need to start my day. Will be back later.

  9. The more that you express your gratitude, the more you will have for which to be grateful. This works well for me and the line that says gratitude means being happy now, that one sometimes requires a little effort but because there is a learned pattern of pleasant outcomes the effort is easy. It is not so much that everything always turns out perfect but knowing that those things that concern me are being perfected is a great source of joy and happiness. I thouroughly enjoyed Wednesday night’s class.

  10. AHH. I finally get to post my feedback. I really enjoyed the service. Whats great about life skills is that its a nightly devotional of sorts. I feel a book coming out of it.. 🙂 The simple yet detailed points always good. I could totally write a review.
    It’s like a pastor giving advice, the best advice about real things.. Opp thats exactly what it is.. I enjoyed this past Wednesday.

    The part that I keep thinking about is the “all things work together” and how your repeated the word things.. I tend to watch interviews on all types of ppl who “made it” and the only pattern i can find is no pattern at all. There is never this one thing that really made it happen but rather all things working together.. So i loved that.
    During the service i thought about the life skill that parents give to there children and how to really prepare someone to be an adult you have to let them understand and conquer failure. Let them make decisions with guidance and reason.
    totally random thought but i think the life skills series is good not because it focuses on failure but its just a plain message about how you go from having a good moment to a good day to a good week so one and so forth. Its really a renewing service. I can see a big difference between people who were never allowed the space to fail and how limiting it is.. Especially making the transition from teenager to young adult. Im learning that i wont learn a lesson once and never face a challenge again. I will have to always renew my thinking and attitude. Its not a one time thing.
    the series is good because its about the people of the church our souls our lives. How do we really live a Godly life? which means abundance at all points.. Im rambling.. But i really enjoy the services.. Good stuff.

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