Living in the Moment

I love blogging. I truly do. It's hard to put into words what I like about it, except there's few other outlets that allow me to truly explore my creativity and feel purposeful doing so. There's no other feeling like creating the perfect photograph, putting my thoughts into relatable words and being a part of such a supportive online community. Although, if you ask what my least favorite part is, the answer is easy. 

After nearly four years of blogging, I often find myself feeling like I am unable to freely live in the moment. Whether it's the pressure to capture every moment or feeling bogged down by all the behind-the-scenes work, I can have a hard time separating myself from the role I have assumed, and on occasion, it makes me miss the simplicity of life prior to creating my corner of the internet. 

With that being said, I don't think it's just a side effect of blogging either. My struggle with living in the moment has been present, in one way or another, for as long as I can remember, and I think it's something a lot of people can relate to. For example, I've been a daydreamer since I was a little girl. My mind can't sit still, so I can always be found either thinking of the next big thing or reminiscing on the past. And, this might come as a surprise, but both of these can affect your ability to be present today, too. 

My futuristic mindset is often seen as a strength. Gosh, even the StrengthsQuest test I had to take at my university said so. It has definitely proven to be useful when it comes to goal setting and finding the motivation to chase after my dreams, but it can also have a dark side if you forget to be grateful for everything you have and are experiencing now. Thinking about the next season of life won't make it come any sooner, so you might as well soak in the moments you are experiencing now and live them to their fullest. 

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? ... Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself." Matthew 6:25-27, 34

The past can also be an unhealthy place to live if it takes precedence over experiencing everything the present has to offer. Trust me, I know what the allure of dwelling on past decisions and circumstances is like, but if you're not careful, it can easily consume you rather than teach you. Do you ever look back on a year and find yourself unable to remember anything that happened? *reluctantly raises hand* Well, that's likely a major sign that your living in the past rather than the present! 

I believe the abundance of social media in our lives has only heightened this phenomenon, too. Whenever I'm asked what my favorite vacations have been, I typically name off a few of the road trips my family and I went on prior to Instagram becoming a big deal. Especially as a blogger, I tend to get caught up in capturing every moment that I forget to just be still and soak everything in. That's the main reason why I've decided to leave my camera at home for my last few trips. As a result, I felt able to live free of the expectations to document every second, and honestly, I loved it. Life felt simple again. 

So, for those of you seeking the same kind of simplicity back in your life, here's a few practical tips for living in the moment.

3 Tips for Living in the Moment

1. Be aware of your use of technology

It's easy for me to spend an entire day working on my laptop or scrolling through social media without going outside once. If you find yourself in the same boat, set a time limits for yourself and be sure to spend a few intentional minutes outdoors each day. I know phones can be quite the distraction when I should be spending quality, face-to-face time with others, too. So, an easy way I've unglued myself from the screen is getting in the habit of making phones a no-no during meals. It sounds simple, but I promise it works wonders! 

2. Welcome spontaneity in your daily schedule

During the school year, my calendar is my best friend. For the most part, everything is planned to the minute. Although, if you're the same way, you shouldn't be scared to let loose a little bit. I promise your schedule won't be offended if you decide to shuffle things around for a spontaneous adventure with a friend or an impromptu conversation. 

3. Write in your journal that's gathering dust in the corner

I don't know where I'd be without my journal! Writing in it helps me confront my emotions in the present moment and is a healthy way to document my experiences without it consuming my life. Also, if I find myself unable to shake a thought that is distracting me from my day, I'll pray about whatever is weighing on my mind and record it in my journal. Knowing my thought is written down allows me to clear my mind of it for the rest of the day, and putting my worries in God's hands through prayer gives me the peace of mind to move on. 

Have any of you struggled with living in the moment lately? What simple changes have you made in your life to overcome it? I hope my experiences and tips were helpful and relatable to y'all!