Learning to live in the now can ironically put to rest a painful past and help create a bright new future. It's all too easy to dwell on the past, or to allow our mind to wander to all the things we have to do tonight or tomorrow. We tend to spend too much time thinking in general, and to let those thoughts crowd our mind and consume our energy.
There is no changing the past so there is no sense in re-living it; take whatever lessons you can from your mistakes and carry them with you into the future. The future hasn't happened yet so why waste time and energy worrying and speculating about things that may never happen? The future is created in the now.
When you're living in the here and now, life becomes a type of meditation - the benefits of which are well established - but meditation doesn't have to be a formal or time-consuming process. By simply being present and putting your focus entirely on what you're doing, even the most mundane acts can be become forms of moving meditation; wash the dishes and just wash the dishes, focus on what you're doing, and as distracting thoughts come into your head just watch them come and let them go, without judgment and without dwelling on them.
Walking to the bus stop in the morning? Forget the headphones and talking on the mobile phone, walk with purpose and be aware of your movements and your surroundings - take note of the birds, flowers and trees, and be renewed by the beauty of nature and by your very existence.
When you're conversing with someone, stop whatever else you're doing and become fully engaged with the person you're communicating with for a true connection.
By living more consciously you may realise how unhappy you are in a job or situation - by accepting the reality of the situation you are free to change it, remove yourself from it, or stay with it. You will realise you don't need to be a victim of your own making, you have choices.
You have the choice to move in different directions
The Power of Now isn't just a life-changing philosophy, it is the title of one of my favourite books by Eckhart Tolle. His profound insight into the workings of the human mind and our evolutionary development, has the power to change ordinary lives in extraordinary ways.
Practice living in the moment and being fully present, watch your life change, and enjoy the deep peace and contentment that comes from conscious living and from accepting what is, in every moment.
'Wherever you are, be there totally.' - Eckhart Tolle