Embracing the Present Moment

Embracing the Present Moment

I am an overthinker. Well, I was, I should say, until today. 

I finally grasped an understanding of my condition and poor habits that prevent me from being in the now. And so I consider myself moving forward to a new way of being. One that’s in tune with my body, not deaf to it in my head. 

Being in my head is quite an unpleasant and unfortunate habit. Why? Because all kinds of things show up that I do not want. I used to believe that I was a victim of circumstance until I realized I was really a victim of my mind. I was so habitually in my head that I didn’t even know what I was thinking half of the time. Mindfulness was almost impossible because whenever I would “practice” being mindful by watching my thoughts, my mind would just be silent. It was rare that I would even catch a thought. 

Until it wasn’t. 

After some time, I started to notice stories playing in my mind. Sometimes these stories would be conversations with people I knew and family. Sometimes it would be past experiences ruminating on repeat. 

For example, I would remember a conversation from the day before or even months or years past and repeat it in my mind exactly as I remembered it. And, while I remembered it, I would criticize myself for how I handled it and how I could have done better, or perhaps how I would do better next time. 

Sometimes I would go into planning mode, and create new conversations based on the past and what I would say the “next time”. It was as if I found an old DVD and replayed it over and over in my mind, each time making assumptions and judgments about what transpired. This was such an ingrained habit, that I had no idea I was even doing it. 

In fact, I was on autopilot, until I started moving forward and continuing my mindfulness practice.

Then it got real, real fast. 

To say I was pulled into the past every time I would think is an understatement. I was the past. 

Every single decision I have ever made was based on past experiences and how I wanted them to be different. Unfortunately, I eventually found myself in a very unpleasant situation where I would find myself right back where I started. This happened to me so many times that I finally caught on. Then, the battle started.

Let me explain what I mean. 

For ease of clarity, let’s use the subject of weight loss, something I am sure many are familiar with. 

For my entire life, even as a child, I was plagued by my weight. When I was overweight, I heard it nonstop from family and friends. “Nicole, should you eat that? Nicole, you should watch your weight. Nicole, you sleep too much. Nicole, you gained weight. Nicole, you should watch your weight. Nicole…Nicole…Nicole.” 

Eventually, the comments became implanted in my mind and became beliefs that ruminated over and over as I struggled to get my weight under control. I was always looking at myself as fat and overweight, and could never quite find my happy place. Sometimes I would get into a motivated kick and lose a tremendous amount of weight, which garnered praise from others. 

It was all great until I fell short again, and then it was back to the same old story, the same pattern of unhappiness, self-criticism, and self-loathing. 

I ate to make myself feel good, and sweets were my downfall. Sugar. Even though I knew it was bad for me, I felt happy eating it, which seemed to be the only moment I could feel happiness inside of me. So I ate. And ate. Until I gained the weight back and then some. 

Then, there was always a moment when I could not stand it anymore and went back to some plan to lose the weight. As far as thinking goes, I continued to think the same thoughts I always thought, but each time I started again, I thought I was doing something different every time. The solution had to be out there, I would think.

The answer would always be some form of dieting or calorie restriction. And, I did them all–Low-Carb, low-calorie, low-fat, no-carb, vegetarian, fasting, diet pills, teas. Even went to a weight loss center a few times and lost more than 50 lbs, and then it came right back.

My longest run was for a little over three years where I maintained the weight I lost through changing my eating habits, working out, and making it more of a lifestyle. But, I eventually found myself right back where I started. 

It happened so often, that my husband would tell me that I always got fat to just go and lose the weight again. It was like I was in a major oscillating pattern that would never end. A pendulum swinging from fat to skinny, then back to fat then skinny again. 

Has this ever happened to you? If not with weight loss, perhaps with something else? How about money? Ever find yourself with money and then needing to get more while still feeling it was not enough? 

How about relationships? Ever find yourself with someone great then find yourself single again, just to find yet another relationship that falls through and you are single again?

This is what we at the Magical Mind call ‘The Problem Structure’.

The problem structure is no joke, and so many of us are living it without even realizing it. We can never get what we desire because there is always something yanking us back to the beginning—because our focus is not where we think it is. The focus is on the circumstance we wish to change, instead of what we wish to create.

When I finally grasped this concept, it was clear my mind was operating from a focus on problems. I always saw something wrong and worked to fix it, which meant that my focus was on the circumstance I wished to change—being overweight and choosing to lose weight, empty bank account and choosing to make more money, etc. 

I thought I was focused on solutions until I realized that you cannot ever have a solution without a problem. It is impossible. By focusing on a solution, you are still thinking about the problem, which keeps it active in the experience and eventually manifests. It never, ever, goes away!

How frustrating this can get!

When I focused on losing weight, I was focused on the fact I was overweight. When I focused on making more money, I was focused on the fact I did not have enough. So I was doomed to oscillate between the two, which would get bigger and bigger every time. 

As someone who is an overthinker, I found myself in a pretty tough space. Every single time I would think, it would be from a problem. And since it was an automatic pattern from childhood, I was doomed to repeat more problems to solve. It was so ingrained in me, that I could not see it. 

Literally zero awareness—until the pain came.

It would go something like this. I see myself as overweight, so I focus on ways to get healthy, just to find myself overweight again. Or, I would see that I needed money, so I would go and find ways to make money, just to find that I still needed more. No matter what “solution” I came up with, I always found myself back to the problem and searching for more solutions.

It never once dawned on me to pay attention to my body, to be mindful of the sensations I felt because of my thinking mind. I was so habitually used to the way I thought, that I identified with it all. Being present to me meant I was thinking. Being mindful meant I was looking outside and being aware of what was there. Anything else, and I was simply not doing enough. 

Unfortunately, I discovered I was very wrong. 

Our mind knows nothing but the past, which means that my identification with it is what kept me stuck. Since I only ever knew to focus on “solutions” my life became a whirlwind of problems to solve. 

To create a life I love, I needed to change my focus. I needed to focus on creating what I loved, not on problems to fix. 

I honestly thought that I had no choice but to go with the thoughts I had. If it sounded good, it was good. If it sounded bad, then it was bad. Judgment was the only way, which as you may know, is quite toxic. 

The Law of Attraction poses a challenge for overthinkers like me, as we face a ton of momentum propelling us in a particular direction that does not serve us well. And since we have practiced this way of thinking for several years, if not decades, it is quite challenging to wake up to it and change direction. 

But it can be done.

When I woke up to my dependency on thinking and using judgment for decisions, I realized that I was not only stuck in the past by remembering the shortcomings I experienced, I was recreating it.  Every single decision I was making in my life was based on past experiences and trying to make it different by thinking of different solutions to generate different outcomes. 

Therefore, because the past was driving my future decisions with the hope of changing outcomes, the past would always be there. It would always repeat, albeit in different ways. It tricks you into thinking you are doing things differently, when, in fact, you are just doing the same thing in different ways over and over again. 

And, because I was stuck in the “problem structure,” the only thing I would create would be solutions to a never-ending stream of problems that just seemed to get bigger.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – Einstein.

So what do we do?

First rule, FORGET THE PAST.

Yes, you read that right.

Forget the past and create from a new place. Even a minute ago is past. Keep your attention to the moment—the now— and be present with whatever task you have chosen. Focus your attention on your breath, your skin, your heartbeat—anything but your overthinking mind. You will get an impulse do do something that feels right in the moment when the time is right, not because you thought of it, but because it simply feels right. 

The second rule, GET INTO THE RIGHT STRUCTURE.

Move into what the Magical Mind calls the ‘Creative Structure’,  which means you focus your mind on what you wish to create, instead of on problems to fix. Make peace with who you are now, and simply focus on the person you are becoming. For example, instead of focusing on the fact that I am overweight, I focus on what I would love to create, which is a healthy body. The only reason I would want to create this, is because I love the way it feels when I am healthy overall, including with my weight. Any other reason means I fall right back in the problem structure.

When I feel lost as to what to do or where to go, I ask myself this powerful question and simply follow the answer:

What would the person I am becoming do right now?

If I wanted to create a healthy relationship, I would do it with zero regard to the past and for no other reason than I would love to have it. The same goes for money. Instead of focusing on the fact that I am unhappy with my current bank account, I focus on creating a full one, for no other reason than I would love to experience it. 

This is a very subtle shift from my old way of thinking about problems, which is what 98% of the world focuses on. 

To make this shift, I first had to address my overthinking mind, which means staying in the present moment and choosing what I would love to create by contemplating on the emotion of the result of a future reality I choose to experience. This is done 

It means to stop living life by default and start living on purpose while feeling the emotion of it being done.  

It is easier said than done, right?

It is, until you have had enough practice. 

After several months of constant ups and downs and frustrating experiences, I finally got it. 

Discipline always pays off. Never, ever quit. 

Being present means being fully aware of your body, your senses, and your thoughts in every single waking moment, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. It means dropping the knife of judgment and letting your thoughts be there, while gently guiding them where you wish to go. It means to parent yourself in your mind as if your mind were a child. It means to care about how you feel, and choose better feeling thoughts every time you become aware of the stories you tell yourself.

It means to care about how you feel.

I still find myself often thinking without knowing it, but the minute I become aware, I smile in gratitude for the awareness and simply focus on my breathing and how it feels going inside and out of my body. I continue this awareness and focus on the sensations I feel—whether it be the wind on my cheeks when I am outside, the ground beneath my feet when I walk, the chair I am sitting on, or even the keyboard as I type. When I am focused on my body, I am fully present in the now. 

I finally learned that if I really wished to create a life filled with miracles, synchronicities, and flow, I needed to learn to be present with myself and my body. The past is the past; the future has yet to be created—the now is all we will ever have.

The only time we ever need to think is when we are actively creating something. Even when we listen to others, the key is to listen without judgment, without opinions, and without the need to “figure out” what you will say next. Just be there and listen. Only speak when asked, and when you are asked, take the time to generate a thoughtful response. 

Overthinking is caused by fear. Let go of the fear and trust in who you really are. 

Make your peace with where you are now and let go of the past. Focus only on the here and now. Then, choose where you wish to go and visualize the emotion of the end result of having it. How would you feel if you had it in this moment? Allow yourself to fully experience the emotion as if it is done.

Because the truth is—the minute you choose it, it is done. 

Everything starts in the mind.

I discovered that when I do that, everything I ever need to do gets done, and the stuff that didn’t get done just means that it simply didn’t need to at that moment—only my judgment said it did. Suddenly I find myself in flow, with synchronistic events that warm my heart.

Choose what you wish to create for no other reason than you would love to experience it, and then go for it. Be present in every single moment as your joyful journey begins to unfold. Even when it gets tough, just be patient and keep forging forward—never look back. 

Treat yourself with compassion, love, and kindness and remember—you are worth it. 

I know I am 🙂

Love, Light, and Higher Truth—Nicole

Attracting Grace

Elevating awareness for blissful living, the Attracting Grace Team is here to support you on your journey. Through our blog posts, we offer robust guidance to help you navigate life by focusing on the present moment in ways you may not have explored before. Our goal is to inspire mindfulness and well-being, transforming your everyday experiences into moments of grace and joy. Join us in discovering new perspectives for a more fulfilling life.

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