2 powerful sensations to anchor you in the glorious present moment

There is a place you can go where time stands still, where you see everything more clearly, and where you are at peace. Like, real peace. Even better, you can access this place right now.

Yes — right now. And you don’t even have to get off the couch.

This place is called the present moment, and it holds the gift of true happiness. Sounds corny, but it’s true.

Even though the present moment is so awesome, we have such a hard time living in it. Lucky for you, there are two extremely common anchors into the present moment that you’re already experiencing 24/7.

Want to learn how to harness them to anchor yourself to the bliss of the present moment?

You’ve come to the right place.

But first — why the present moment is so freaking awesome

Because it is the most real thing out of all the real things ever!

“The present moment” isn’t just some woo-woo lingo for a mystical concept, it’s actually the most concrete thing there is. In fact, it’s the only thing there is. Because nothing has happened or will ever happen outside of the present moment.

That’s why wise people say if you want to live a fulfilling life, live each day in the present moment. Why? Because it is the only moment that ever really exists.

Nothing has happened or will ever happen outside of the present moment. Click To Tweet

On top of being the most real thing out of all the real things ever, being in the present moment is pure bliss when we accept it for the way it is (yes, even the “bad” stuff). The small glimpses I’ve gotten of the present moment were the most enlightened experiences I’ve ever had — it’s that big of a deal.

When we turn our full awareness to what is happening right now, we let go of our storylines and scheming and fixed beliefs and we just be. This be-ing inside the present moment is the fastest way I know to happiness. I mean, how can you not be happy when you’re fully present and accepting with all that is?

When we tune into the present moment, we tune into our true selves; the self behind our ego, personality, and thoughts. It’s so wide open that there’s nothing to cling to, which makes our egos uneasy. Since our egos can’t exist without something to cling to or fight against, we try our darndest to avoid the present moment at all costs. We do this by constantly reliving past wounds, escaping into future fantasy, and a whole host of self-medication techniques to numb us to the vast expanse of the RIGHT NOW.

So how do we win this fight against our ego?

Drumroll……….we don’t.

Because it’s not a fight. We are already in the present moment, we can’t escape it. It’s not something we need to struggle to get to, we’re already there.

So instead of striving to “get to” the present moment, try looking for these two common anchors into the bliss of the present moment.

Being in the present moment is the fastest way to happiness. Click To Tweet

In his book The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle explains his theory about why adrenaline junkies do crazy stuff; it forces us into the present moment. For example, when you’re driving a car 120mph, living outside the immediacy of the present moment could mean your death. There’s no time for replaying past hurts or escaping into a future fantasy. You are here, now, driving this car, focusing on the road, because if you don’t this could be the last present moment you ever live. It’s exhilarating.

But also freaking scary.

Lucky for those of us who aren’t adrenaline junkies, we don’t have to put our lives on the line to anchor us into the present moment. If we pay attention, we’ll notice two anchors in particular that are so common I would venture to call them constant: suffering and pleasure.

You’re experiencing one or both of those sensations at any point throughout your day, so why not harness them as anchors into the bliss of the present moment?

Anchor #1: Suffering

Remember that post about the time my dog ran away and I was feeling intense anxiety and then by the end of it I was enlightened (if only for a moment — darn!)? If not, read it here.

That’s a textbook example of using suffering as an anchor into the present moment.

At first it was hard to enter into the present moment through suffering, because in the present moment, there is no distraction from the suffering. We’re forced to feel all of it.

But a strange thing happens when we become present in our suffering; we receive the gift of clear thinking, of tapping into the infinite space inside of us and realizing we have more than enough capacity to hold our suffering AND let in all the good that is around us, too.

In the present moment we stop fighting what is and learn to relax into it.

This might sound extreme for some of you. And honestly it is quite extreme the first several times you’re intentional about becoming present with your suffering. But eventually, at least with me, it makes the idea of suffering not so bad, because it is a powerful anchor into the present moment. It seems like poison but I can use it as medicine; to bring me back to the only place in time that’s real.

Buddhist meditation master Chögyam Trungpa (of whom Pema Chödrön was a disciple) used to bring a mild amount of suffering into his life on purpose because he said it, “Wakes him up.” He used to put his chair a little too far back from the table, just enough so he had to pay attention to the small amount of discomfort he felt reaching for his plate.

I think that’s an interesting technique, but I’m not there yet. If suffering comes my way, fine, I’ll use it as medicine, but I’m not about to manufacture my own suffering just so I can be in the present moment. Surely there is a better way???

Well, we’re in luck. Because there is.

Anchor #2: PLEASURE

Mmmm sounding much better, right?

Wrong.

Well, I mean, in theory it is much better, but I’ve found it’s harder to be present with my pleasure than my suffering.

Us humans are strange creatures, with our never-ending complaints and gossip and suffering (which come so easy to us) and our inability to receive pleasure even though we swear that’s what we want.

For example; gratitude. Why is it so hard to have gratitude? Why is complaining easier than being grateful? A curious thing for a species who just wants to be happy.

And to those of us claiming they don’t care if their happy as long as they help other people…what?? Oh, the lengths we will go to deny ourselves pleasure…

So in this way, using pleasure as an anchor into the present moment has proven much harder than using suffering. Because at least I’m used to welcoming in suffering by complaining, lying and gossiping. Welcoming in pleasure, much less being present with it seems so foreign. Like, shouldn’t I be working or something??

But instead of being like the monk who manufactures suffering in his life, I’d like to try manufacturing pleasure. Rather, noticing the pleasurable things that are ALREADY all around me and using those to anchor me in the glorious present moment.

Who’s in?

A Pleasurable Quick-Hitter

I’ve got something that will you bring you some guaranteed pleasure.

15 of my awesome blogger friends put together an eBook with nothing but our most embarrassing stories — SO many of them made me literally LOL. As you read (and laugh) be mindful of your pleasure and let it anchor you into the bliss of the present moment. It’s free for you — so check it out here.

Originally published at ourweirdlives.com on June 5, 2018.

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Jordin James

Trauma-informed coach helping survivors of narcissistic abuse find confidence in their true self and create happy relationships. IG + Twitter: @justjordinjames