Esteemed poet e.e.cummings was once quoted as saying “Unbeing dead isn’t being alive.” While some people may think this is a reflection on zombies, it is actually a reminder to enjoy the power of the “now”; that is, to say, that just because you’re functioning day to day doesn’t mean you’re living your life to the fullest extent.
Being alive instead of unbeing dead is easier that you might realize when you think about it. Little things like smiling at a stranger, really grounding yourself and quietly observing your surroundings, even the cliche moment taken to smell a flower are all activities that can be done to bring you back to living in the present.
If you find yourself having a hard time finding these moments during which you can live in the present tense, every day, start when you first wake up. Even 30 second spent enjoying the last feel of the blankets and sheets on your bed against your skin is enjoying the “Power of Now.” from then, consciously try to take notice of your emotions at regular intervals during the day. What things bring you the most joy? What doesn’t?
Living in the moment doesn’t always mean stopping to admire the sunshine, though. Living in the present also means acknowledging and processing the negative aspects in one’s life. Instead of pushing them aside, or numbing away the unhappiness or pain, make a concerted effort to acknowledge what emotions you are feeling and work immediately on how to accept them and integrate them into your life without them causing more harm than necessary.
Once you get the moment to moment down, it will be much easier to move on to the day to day. Wherever you’re at, though, always remember this: There is no light without dark, no sorrow without hope, and unbeing dead definitely is not being alive.