Each moment of our lives is an opportunity to learn something valuable about ourselves. But instead, we often take them for granted and waste them on unproductive thoughts. We must remind ourselves that it’s this present moment that truly matters. If we value our lives, we won’t let any moment go by without living it as truthfully and authentically as we can.

Mindfulness keeps us present and aware. It’s an elevated awareness that provides us a way to experience an expansiveness that feels like we’re breathing along with nature. There’s no feeling of separateness. It reminds us that we’re here in this moment of “now” and there’s no other moment than this one.

Explore the many ways a daily mindfulness practice can help sustain your present-moment awareness:

• Mindfulness connects you to your authentic self. So often when you’re caught up going from one moment to the next, you’re doing what you think you’re supposed to do, but feeling dissatisfied doing it. Take time to go inward and connect with your authentic self. Otherwise, you’ll live your life superficially, concerned only with who you’re projecting out to the world, knowing it doesn’t ring true.

• Mindfulness connects you to a sense of wholeness. When you allow yourself to stop your busyness and devote time to connect to your authentic self, you experience a sense of non-separation, wholeness and completeness. Becoming aware of yourself as a spiritual being helps you recognize that which is worthy, divine and holy within.

• Mindfulness quiets your inner critic. When you practice mindfulness, you’ll stop being a harsh self-critic, and instead become a constructive advisor. Your inner talk that begins with “I can’t,” or “I’ll never,” quiets because the authentic self knows its own strengths and weaknesses without defining them as inadequate. With mindfulness, you let go of self-criticism and awaken to acceptance and peace.

• Mindfulness helps you process pain. While your past may contain unpleasant or painful memories, they’re a part of your life. How you process those painful experiences and what you continue to tell yourself about them makes the difference in how it affects your present self. You can create a “new memory in present time” by navigating the present with neutrality and experiencing the past with acceptance. This doesn’t deny or diminish your past, but creates a new impression that helps distance you from the unpleasant memory. Let yourself choose to stay present and not become influenced by hurtful memories that arise. Know that anything that’s happened to you in the past doesn’t define who you are in the present.

• Mindfulness helps you return to your conscious homeland. It reminds you that you’re here in this moment of “now.” All this moment asks of you is to feel love and acceptance towards yourself and others.

Meditation to Stay in the Moment
Use this mindfulness meditation to connect you to the present moment:

Find a quiet place to sit. Close your eyes. Feel yourself where you are right now. Note any sounds, thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations.

Invite yourself to be present in your meditation. Tell yourself it’s okay to let everything go. Focus your awareness on your breath. Take a few deep breaths in and out.

If your mind begins to wander at any time, bring your focus and awareness back to your breath, which will always bring you back to the present moment.

Say silently, “I am in this moment of now.”

Say silently, “Now is all there is.”

Say silently, “I accept this moment I’m in.”

Repeat this as many times as you wish. When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes. Be aware that you are still in the moment of “now,” and that there’s no need to rush out of it.

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