life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
combat loneliness with e.a.s.e.

100 ways to live in the moment

 

live in the moment 
 

"Stop acting like life is a dress rehearsal.
The past is gone and the future is not guaranteed."

Unknown


Happy July 4th to all of my fellow Americans! If you haven't checked out my post on "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," I'd suggest you give it a read today. I wanted to leave it up for this great holiday of ours, but I just could resist posting this today. Before I don my red-and-white striped bikini and head over to my friend's pool, I'd like to share my thoughts on seizing the moment. Seizing the moment is something I have a hard time with. Obviously, as the author of Positively Present, I want to spend most of my time being present, but it's not always easy for me. Sometimes I really have to -- gulp! -- force it. Unlike some people, I really have to tell myself over and over again, "Be present. Be present. Be present." Though it's not easy, whenever I find myself really embracing a moment, really being there, it's amazing. The smallest things can be so wonderful when you're living in the moment and taking them in rather than just taking life for granted and moving through it at a breakneck speed (which definitely used to by MO before starting this blog).

One way that I've been embracing being present lately is by taking part in Joy Rebel Day(which is actually a whole week!). What is Joy Rebel Day? Well, you can't very well know what the day is without knowing what a Joy Rebel is. According to Welcome to the Joy Rebellion, Joy Rebel is someone who chooses to engage in "expert use of rampant positivity, disciplined funkiness and deploying radical self acceptance against all odds. Your training will come at great sacrifice. Negativity dealers will confront you, energy vampires will attempt to kidnap you. You will become vigilant against their attempts to seduce you." A Joy Rebel's job is "to employ your own unique brand of joy. Wonderfully awful art, messy love, spontaneous dancing, cozy cuddling, quiet tears, angry letters, epic poems." When I first learned about this on Welcome to the Joy Rebellion, I thought to myself, "Hey! I want to be a Joy Rebel!" It makes happiness and joy sound bad-ass, which actually really appeals to me. Apparently quite a few people wanted to be Joy Rebels too! So many, in fact, that a whole week (July 1-8) was created to celebrate being a Joy Rebel One great blog, She Sleeps With Sea Glass, is actually having a Joy Rebel Day Blog Party! How fun is that? Happiness, rebellion, and parties? Sounds perfect to me! Check out the site She Sleeps With Sea Glass or Welcome to the Joy Rebellion to find out more about how you can take part in the party. Spreading joy and combating negativity is one of the best ways to live in the moment and I have to say that Joy Rebel Day came at the perfect time for me -- just when I was having a lot of trouble living in the now!

As hard as it is for me to be present sometimes, I find that I enjoy everything so much more when I take the time to really sit with the moment and appreciate it for what it is. Today I'm offering up some suggestions (100 of them, to be exact!) of ways to bring yourself back to the present moment. Some of these I've done. Some of them I want to do. Some of them definitely aren't for me but might work for you. I hope you take a small part of your day to enjoy at least one of these activities. Trust me, you'll be glad you did!

 

  1. Ask someone about his/her life.
  2. Write a handwritten note and mail it.
  3. Make a promise (and keep it).
  4. Look up at the sky and describe it.
  5. Hug someone close to you.
  6. Indulge in a long, warm bath.
  7. Tell someone how much you love him/her.
  8. Do something on your To Do list.
  9. Apologize to someone you've hurt.
  10. Re-read your favorite poem.
  11. Turn off the TV for a week.
  12. Relax in bed before sleeping.
  13. Eat your favorite thing mindfully.
  14. Ask someone an interesting question.
  15. Take pictures of your favorite thing.
  16. Go for a long walk somewhere beautiful.
  17. Meditate for as long as you can.
  18. Research an interesting topic.
  19. Ask someone for advice and really listen.
  20. Pay attention to your breathing for two minutes.
  21. Answer the phone with cheer in your voice.
  22. Make a decision immediately.
  23. Close your eyes and image your paradise.
  24. Mentor a young child (or an adult!).
  25. Volunteer at a local charity.
  26. Write a list of all you're grateful for.
  27. Consider all possible solutions to a problem.
  28. Take a different way to work.
  29. Prepare your favorite meal for your family.
  30. Offer praise to someone who deserves it.
  31. Pay attention when others speak.
  32. Watch a dog or cat (or baby) sleeping.
  33. Prepare for tomorro w's work today.
  34. Look at the details of a flower or plant.
  35. Lie outside in the sun for a few hours.
  36. Smile at yourself in the mirror.
  37. Say "Thank you" and truly mean it.
  38. Share your wisdom with someone else.
  39. Do one thing that scares you.
  40. Offer to help someone in need.
  41. Watch a sunset or sunrise.
  42. Visit a local museum and enjoy learning.
  43. Organize your favorite photos online.
  44. Send an email to an old friend.
  45. Draw or paint something inspiring.
  46. Host a party for no particular reason.
  47. Tell yourself what you love about you.
  48. Look for the positive in a problem.
  49. Notice when the seasons are changing.
  50. Imagine kissing your significant other.
  51. Eat an ice cream cone outside when it's warm.
  52. Share a joke with a friend and laugh loud.
  53. Consider how feng shui might improve your home.
  54. Spend a few hours alone, relaxing.
  55. Make something from scratch.
  56. List all of the things you've accomplished today.
  57. Re-purpose something in your home.
  58. Go to bed early. Wake up early.
  59. Look for fireflies twinkling at night.
  60. Pay attention to what your body is saying.
  61. Make a very silly face at a friend.
  62. Tell a child your favorite fairy tale.
  63. Buy a gift for someone for no reason.
  64. Watch a very positive TV show.
  65. List the things you love about your body.
  66. Take a road trip somewhere new.
  67. Listen to your favorite song on repeat.
  68. Smile brightly at the driver in the car next to you.
  69. Write a love letter to yourself.
  70. Kiss someone sweetly on the cheek.
  71. Ask the question, "Why?"
  72. Go for a run (or a quick walk). Move it!
  73. Start a new, exciting project.
  74. Spend a Saturday email-free.
  75. Listen to and accept criticism with grace.
  76. Speak cheerfully to your coworkers.
  77. Look around you at how many colors there are.
  78. Push yourself a little harder when working out.
  79. Allow yourself to daydream.
  80. Stop a bad habit (right now!).
  81. Give yourself advice and follow it.
  82. Turn off your phone for an evening.
  83. Focus on what you're doing right this minute.
  84. Speak to someone as if you really do care.
  85. Treat yourself to a tasty snack.
  86. Take three deep breaths before falling asleep.
  87. Do jump jacks or jump rope.
  88. Play with a puppy and watch how s/he romps.
  89. Appreciate winter in summer (and vice versa).
  90. Think about how amazing an invention is.
  91. Hold someone's hand unexpectedly.
  92. Wake up with a really long stretch session.
  93. Pay attention to others' observations.
  94. Watch how clouds move across the sky.
  95. Listen to a bird's song (without being annoyed).
  96. Introduce yourself to someone new.
  97. Write down everything you're feeling today.
  98. Think about why you love your favorite outfit.
  99. Ask yourself, "What's awesome about this moment?"
  100. Call someone just to say "I love you."

 

Now that I've listed 100 ways to live in the moment, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. I want to know what you think about these 100 ideas and how you might suggest living in the moment. The most important, best moments in life are different for everyone so it's likely that some of these may not suit you and some might sound like the best idea ever. Pay attention to how you're living. Are you being mindful? Are you living in the moment? It's not always easy (for me, it's never easy), but it is worth the effort. So, tell me...

How do you live in the moment?
What seize-the-day ways would you add to this list?

Comments

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Great list Dani. I think living in the moment is probably one of our greatest challenges after learning how to detach from outcomes. Actually, the two kind of go hand in hand. We live in such an achievement driven society, that we are always planning for the future and thinking about the future. I think that is why surfing has been such a therapeutic thing for me because when you want to catch waves you can't really be thinking about anything else or you'll wipe out every time. Thanks for sharing and hope you have a great 4th of July.

wow. what an awesome list!! I love all the ideas-like look up at the sky and describe it...

Amaing list, Dani. I have a list like this somewhere. Handwritten because I actually made it 8 or so years ago. Will have to look for it one of these days. :)

#35 - Lie outside in the sun for a few hours was on my agenda anyways, but #100 was not (Call someone just to say "I love you.").

Excuse me, but I have to go make a call (or 2 or 3...why limit myself?).

Srinivas - Thanks! I'm glad you like it. It's definitely hard for me to live in the moment a lot of the time, but I'm working on it (and getting better at it every day!). It sounds like surfing is a great way to spend time in the moment.

Brandi - Thank you! When I read the book called The Girl With the Pearl Earring there was a passage about how many colors are in the sky. When we think about clouds, for example, we think white or gray, but when you really look at them there are so many different shades in them. It's quite amazing acutally!

Meream - Thanks! You should find your list. I'd love to hear what ideas you wrote down!

Lori - Haha, great! Don't limit yourself! :) Call everyone you love up and tell 'em you love 'em. :)

Hi Dani

I love this. :-)
For me to live in the moment is when I am riding my horse or when I am watching my little boy having fun.
Thanks for sharing.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Actionis better than No Action

Hi Dani .. lovely list .. I'd add smell the flowers .. something my Mum loves to do; watch the waves if you life by the sea; watch all sorts of nature .. you left off one of yours .. lying in the grass watching the bats in the twilight ..

have a wonderful Independent week ..and thanks for the excellent 100 ideas ...
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

4-Look up at the sky and describe it.
70-Kiss someone sweetly on the cheek.

Hey Dani ;)

Those two are my favourites!
Nice list, its always hard to come up with 100 ways to do something:)

I'd say one of the better ways to be present is to listen to all your senses. What are you seeing, hearing,smelling, tasting and touching. As soon as you become aware of these things you automatically become more present and just feel happy:D

Have a rockin' day!
Diggy

#101: Leave a comment on a friend's blog just to remind her how awesome she is, and to thank her for making the world a better place...both through her blog and just being herself.

Thank you, Dani.

Hi Dani. Great list; the fruits of your labour while focusing on being IN the moment. The joker in me wants to come out to play now. I have no idea why, but when I was reading your list I was thinking about being in the moment and for some odd reason, found myself thinking about plucking my eyebrows. Weird, I know! But it happened. Now that would keep you in the moment wouldn't it? And when you're done, you'll have a lot of present moments that lead up to some perfectly shaped eyebrows :-)

I hope you had a great 4th of july, dani! I bet you rocked that bikini, too. ; )

I did #58 last night -- went to bed at 9, and woke up {naturally} at 5:38 this morning! What a treat to listen to my body like that. Great list.

I would add: Listen to a child's laughter.

Giovanna - I used to ride horses too and I loved it! I've thought about taking it up again and I think that would be a great way to stay in the moment.

Hilary - Oh, yes, the bats! How could I forget that one! I do love to watch them soar at twilight. And you've made some good suggestions about smelling flowers and looking at nature. I'm such a city girl sometimes that I forget those outdoorsy things are great ways to live in the moment.

Diggy - #4 seems to be a popular one! Check out my response to Brandi's comment to see where I got that one. Listening with all of your senses is a great idea. I actually use that one when I'm trying to fall asleep and I can't stop thinking about something. When you focus on all of your senses, it really brings you back into the moment.

Jay - Awww, thank YOU, Jay, for leaving that nice comment! It definitely brightened my day. :)

Davina - That's a great one, actually! When I'm plucking my eyebrows I'm totally focused on what I'm doing and I'm getting up very close and personal with my face (which could be another one -- looking closely at yourself in the mirror). It sounds silly, but I have to say that plucking your brows is a great way to stay in the moment!

Kirwin - Thank you! :) I did have a nice holiday and I felt very festive in my patriotic bikini. That's awesome about going to bed early and getting up early. That's one of my favorite feelings -- waking up naturally. And listening to a kid laughing is another great one. I just heard a little boy laughing outside and it totally made me smile.

#95 Listen to a bird's song without being annoyed.

Ok, ok, that..that is kind of hilarious! I have never been annoyed by birdsong except when our kitten jumped off the second story balcony and I spent HOURS looking for her and couldn't hear her mewing because the birds just wouldn't SHUT UP and that is the only time I've ever wanted to strangle a thousand birds at the same time.

But, you know, OTHER THAN THAT.

Hayden - Okay, okay, so I'm not the world's most nature-oriented girl. I can sit here at my desk and be SERIOUSLY annoyed by the sound of a bird chirping. Have you ever seen the film Failure to Launch? (Yes, I'm embarrassed to say that I have -- but it was on TV! On TV doesn't count!) In the film, Zooey Deschanel's character is obsessed with getting rid of a mocking bird because it keeps her awake. As much as I love all animals, sometimes a bird's cheerful chirp-chirping can drive me up the wall. Taking the time to appreciate it is one of the ways I do my best to stay in the moment...Odd, yes, but it works. Haha.

Great post, Dani! My #101 is delegate or do a nagging task. It usually takes less time than I thought. Getting it done unburdens me and makes room for creativity. Thanks for all your great ideas, too.

Laurie - That's a great #101! When you get an unpleasant task out of the way, it gives you more time to focus on the things you want to spend your moments on. Glad you enjoyed the list!

This is just such a WOW list. Thank you, thank you, thank you! How could I ever remain bored or blue for a second once I stop and consult this list?!

I'm gonna Stumble It!

That's an impressive list PP! There's not much I'd add except; when you're doing some sort of job/chore/errand, take notice of all 5 of your senses (sight, touch, taste, sound, smell). It's a great way to stop and see, touch, taste (maybe not), hear and smell the roses!

Jannie - Thanks so much for the Stumble! :) I'm so glad you liked the list. I'm definitely going to be coming back to it when I'm feeling down or bored!

Sami - That's a great point. No matter what you're doing, if you use as many senses as you can you're a lot more likely to be in the moment. Thanks for the comment!

Hi Dani,

This is cooooooool :) .I'm leaving the page trying to keep some tips in mind and wanting to try them on.
Ah..! This silly face thing.Me and my friends used to do a lot of silly activities when we gather.Sometimes our university friends are surprised to see that what we are. heheheeee...... :)

WOW! What a great list! I am not sure how anyone could get annoyed by a bids song...lol. I really enjoyed reading this today...much needed!

Great list Dani! I nodded and smiled to most of them. I wanted to tell you my favorites but they're too many so I'll just say I enjoyed the whole list a lot, thanks!

Hi Dani - Just yesterday we were talking about how we would catch fireflies as kids. Such great memories.

And snail mail. That's a favorite of mine. There's nothing like getting a handwritten letter/note in the mail. That's something that always makes my day. In turn, I also try to reciprocate.

Vikum - So glad you thought it was cool! :) Silly faces are the best and it's fun to be silly with friends. I've had some of the best laughs when I'm just sitting around with a friend, being our silly selves.

Caroline - Haha. I seem to be the only one who can be annoyed by a bird (aside from the character in Failure to Launch). I'm so glad you enjoyed the list!

Rosa - Thank you! I'm glad they made you smile. You should write a post of your own with all of your favorite ways to stay in the moment!

Barbara - Fireflies and snail mail are two of the best things! It's such a great feeling to get a piece of mail that's not a bill, isn't it?

Hi Dani,

Great list! Putting attention to body or breath can be important--the body and breath are always present. And for a quick and easy pick up, light up your chakras!

k

Kaushik - Thanks! You're right -- paying attention to your body and your breathing are two great ways to stay in the present moment.

Dani, I am truly impressed. I'm sure my creativity wouldn't have stretched this far!

How I live in the moment is to breathe consciously, walk with my head held high (so I can look around me, not at the ground) and aim to do less during the day than I think I can manage (so I rarely get stressed).

Ian - I bet once you got started you'd have been surprised by how many things you could come up with! The ideas you've listed in your comment are great ones and I'm definitely going to put them to use in my life. Thanks!

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