Have you ever noticed how our mind and body are disconnected? Except for a few lucky, a lot of people like me live everywhere, but in the present. We spent so much of our time with our heads in the past or the future, we almost forget that our physical selves are very still in the now.
I am not saying daydreaming or planning isn’t a good thing. Like everything else, our wandering minds have a purpose. But we have to be at least aware that doing so, we are sacrificing the present for a place and time that we can never actually wrap our hands around.
Japanese practice what is called Zazen, or sitting meditation. This exercise brings the body and the mind back together. By concentrating fully on the act of breathing, the mind is naturally drawn back to the present. Although for a lot of us, sitting quietly and meditating is not as easy as it sounds, it is a good habit to have.
Another way I have found to give us a firm footing in the present and reframe our worldview is when we travel. This is another precious reason to do so (as if you needed more reasons to wander!). Have you ever noticed how in the now your mind is when you are discovering Angkor Wat, or drinking a cup of wine at an Italian Winery? Unless you have to plan the rest of your trip along the way, we are usually very much in the now when we are traveling. We appreciate the opportunity we have to discover and experience those new things, and we appreciate what we have back at home too.
I believe that living in the now and appreciating what we have go hand in hand. If our minds are always living in the past or trying to figure out our future, that’s because we don’t see what we actually have is worth our time and energy. Living in the past means we’re not interested in our future, and only thinking about our future makes us forget that our future will be the consequence of what we do now. That’s why we can only be happy when we live in the present. And this is another reason why we love traveling so much: because when we travel, we are living in the now. So we are happier. Our mind connect with our body, making a whole.
Next time you are stressed out or feel your mind disconnected from your body, you can either meditate or act as if you are a traveler in your own city. Try to see what you see everyday, but with the eyes of a traveler. You will notice different things that will help you live in the now. Or you can approach a traveler visiting your city, and try to see the beauty through their eyes. If they traveled this far to visit where you live, it means that there’s beautiful and interesting things to see. Don’t take anything for granted. Make things new again. Realign your mind with your body. Travel and live in the now.