Living fully in the moment

“Living Fully in the Moment”

I feel like that’s a thing we say a lot. So I’d like to break it down a little bit. Specifically, I’d like to talk about what living-fully-in-the-moment is NOT, because it’s not really enough to know what something is. We don’t know the shape, the fullness of something, until we find its edges.

What living fully in the moment is NOT:


  • It’s Not-Living
    • This might be “deadness,” that depressive, withdrawn un-aliveness. It can also be “stillness” or avoidance, not going-forth because of fear. It can be disconnection from the other life (people, activity) in the world through isolation, numbness, or “tuning out.” And it can be the “early death” of an unlived life – a life made too narrow by fear or unwillingness.
  • It’s Part-living (i.e., not living fully)
    • This can be a distorted existence – constricted by too-strong opinions or too-strict beliefs, by an internal critic or demanding internal parent that allows for no exploration. This can be a life lived under pressure, “obligated” in ways that the person even has difficulty articulating. This is a life lived “in bad faith,” as the existentialists say – full of blaming others and circumstances, rather than holding the freedom and responsibility for one’s own life.
  • It’s living in the not-now, not-here
    • This might be living in the future – consumed by anxiety about situations not yet arrived. Or worry for those not immediately present, who you wish you could control or keep safe, but who you don’t and can’t possess. This can be stuckness in the past – regret, guilt, and fear or repeating past mistakes. Missing out on the present and what is becoming because the gaze is focused backwards, or too far out.

Comment: What do you see as the unlived life? How have you helped clients live fully in the present?





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