Taoists focus on the here and now, on presence. Not what’s going on in the head – all of the wallowing in the past and worrying or fantasizing or speculating about the future. What’s going on right here right now in the present moment is their focus.
The Taoists are empiricists. This means acquiring wisdom by observing and experimentation. Conversely we in the West tend to have a priori theories and ideas about what is happening and then try to get life to conform to that theory. The Taoists are interested in the way things are rather than the way we think things should be. The Taoists want to understand how life actually works and for centuries they took detailed notes as they tested and observed which is why we know so much about the Taoist system today.
Here are 10 tips to begin living in the here and now:
1. Pay attention— When you have idle time, at a stop sign or in a line at the grocery store for example, pay attention. Stop letting your mind run ahead of you thinking about a “to do” list or hurt from the past. Listen to the sounds around you and the sights in front of you at the moment. Notice the details of life as they unfold around you.
2. Breathe— When you are ready to go beyond moments and minutes, try paying attention to your breath before you drift off to sleep. Spend 15 minutes paying attention to the rise and fall of your belly. If your mind wanders, bring it back to the slow rise and fall of your belly. This will help you be present in your body.
3. Meditate— Practice sitting still for about 30 minutes in silence. Let your thoughts go. When you realize that your mind is chasing your thoughts, bring it back to your breath. Just be still. Nothing to do or think about. Nothing to ponder. Just be.
4. Forgive past hurts— If you are harboring resentment towards another human being because of past hurts, choose to forgive and move on. Allowing the hurt to impact your mood today is in your control. Release the pain and live today.
5. Stop worrying— You cannot fully appreciate today if you worry too much about tomorrow. Realize that tomorrow is going to happen whether you worry about it or not. Worry has never accomplished anything for anybody so redirect your mental energy to being productive today.
6. Think beyond old solutions to problems— Our world is changing so fast that most of yesterday’s solutions are no longer the right answers today. Don’t get locked into a ‘but that’s how I’ve always done it” mentality. Yesterday’s solutions are not today’s solutions and they are certainly not tomorrow’s solutions. Be flexible today.
7. Do one thing at a time— Single task, don’t multi-task. When pouring water, pour water; when driving, drive; when bathing, bathe. Avoid trying to knock off a few tasks while driving or bathing or cooking. Live the Zen proverb, “When walking, walk. When eating, eat”.
8. When talking to someone, be present— How many times have you been in a conversation with someone and had your thoughts wander off to another topic altogether? Focus on being present, on really listening, on really enjoying your time with that person.
Being present is the only way to enjoy life to its fullest and experience the best health for you. By being mindful, you enjoy your food, friends, family and life to the fullest!
Elwin is also the Founder of Complete Detox Academy, Taoist Health Academy, the Health Coaching Institute and High Energy Academy, as well as the author of 'the Easy Exhaustion Cure' and 'the 4 Step Safe and Effective Detox Action Plan'.
Elwin is highly Enthusiastic about empowering people to feel Energized, Joyful and Alive, Naturally and Sustainably, and has worked over 5 years with over 1000 clients towards this goal. Elwin is particularly passionate about working with clients who are highly committed to reaching high levels of Health, Energy and Wellbeing, by natural and sustainable means.
Elwin has always been interested in Health since childhood. With a mother who had cancer 4 times, and a father with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Elwin is determined to get to the Root Causes of what really creates Disease, and what it really takes to have Outstanding Health and Wellbeing. After suffering from Health Challenges all his life, Elwin became determined, in 2007, to 'Get his Energy back or Die Trying', and, with this level of Resolve, made rapid progress, after a few false starts, which led him naturally, organically, after many requests, to dedicate himself full time to helping others get the kind of Results that he had achieved.