Michael from Grafton asks: I feel like I often cannot enjoy the here and now enough, but rather feel the time slipping away in moments that are very precious to me. Is there a way to connect to the surroundings, to nature, to my animal companions, or the spirits that can help to stay in a moment and enjoy it to its fullest rather than being aware that it will soon end again?
Below is the answer from the guides, in italics. My comments are not in italics.
We commend him on his desire to be present in the now for it is the presence in the moment that allows us to align with who we really are. We understand that the environment/ conditions in which you are immersed cause you to think much on the past and future. We want you to know that you only really exist in the now, and when you release your attention from either the past or the future, you cannot feel worry for either and you are left to enjoy the now present moment. Animals are very good at this. Worry means you are giving some of your attention to the past or future.
We admire your efforts and we feel much love for you and want you to know that which you can desire can be achieved. So we say to you with much love and confidence that as you are in each moment and take your focus to only that in your presence in your now, you will release all concern for when that moment will end. We are always in the now, an ever changing now and therefore you can begin to release your belief that a moment will end. For it never ends, it only changes with each new now.
We understand you would like a practical application to this idea so we will make some suggestions for you, and you can practice these whenever you are in the now which is always. [my guides have a goofy sense of humor] It is a new habit to for you to take. Just as you learned the habit of worrying what comes next in the future. There are times when it is important to know a schedule and reasons to be concerned with future events, but in between those spaces are many moments of now that can be enjoyed. We would like to offer the following ideas to try, and to repeat until it becomes your new habit. You may find that altering these ideas to fit your needs works also.
The first thing we want you to practice is to become aware of when you have changed your focus from the now to the future. You can do this by tuning in to your feelings and when you feel worry, you will know that your attention is into the future and not in the present moment.
Another thing for you: time with your animal friends, a piece of music that you enjoy, a dance that you enjoy are all a series of present moments. You can enjoy each piece of the now as it exists. To focus on each breath, each purr, each note, each step, each beat, is to release the concerns with the past and the future. You will say that it is hard not to think about the future and we will say to you everything that you change is not easy the first time. We wish you to find that which makes you happy in the now and to enjoy each aspect of that and you will find that after time it will become easier.
There will not be an end to the moment, but a change to the moment in which you are no longer petting a cat, or a song will end. At that time, it will be a new now and there will be a new focus.
The beauty of this idea is that each present moment is so short (non existent, really) that you can focus fully on each bit of the now as it comes, and if your attention strays to the future, there will be a new now for you to start again in the present. Isn’t that nice how it works? We are making light of the issue because we love that you have an infinite number of nows in which to practice being present, therefore we know that you will succeed.
It is all about focus, and being aware of your focus. Use your feelings to indicate if you are focused on the now (contentment) or the future (worry).
We repeat to you that with each passing moment of the now you have the opportunity to modify your habit of focus on the future to focus on the present. The best way we can express to you how to feel the present moment is to feel the love you have for your surroundings, your loved ones, your pets. The ability to feel unconditional love is the ability to be fully in the present moment. It is not a matter of having no thought in your head, because there will always be a thought. If you can guide each thought to what you love in each moment/now, you will be present in the moment in the way that you desire. Over time you will find that less effort is required to redirect your focus to the present because you will find yourself drawn to the higher energy of love than the lower energy of worry.
Postscript by me: When I need to center myself, I have a couple tricks. when indoors, or in traffic, I count each breath in and out, and if I lose count I start over. Losing count means my focus shifted away. Another trick I use when outdoors is to focus on each noise (bird chirps, wind, cars on the road).