I took this picture one morning when I was on the balcony taking clothes out of the clothesline. I had to leave just after dawn as my mother needed to be dropped somewhere. The thing is, if I hadn’t been gathering my clothes at that time I don’t think I would have even noticed that the dawn was breaking. My room turns into a dark cave when I close the curtain, and the darkness is so penetrating there is usually no way of knowing if it is morning or night outside. The incident made me realize that sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day activities that we stop observing their surroundings. And maybe that’s why some people get caught up in their past, because they they stop engaging their senses on the present, taking it for granted as the routine of the day remains the same for a lot of us.
They stop listening to the waves crashing against the shore and instead focus on their fingers clicking on the keyboard. They stop seeing the magnificent change in color as darkness turns into day, because they are so busy looking at the television. They stop smelling that aroma of flowers because they are too busy stuck indoors. Since they lose the curiosity they were born with, the curiosity that let them explore – and learn – their surroundings as children, they find themselves stuck in a rut, living in their heads, where it is easy to be stuck in their past; a past that consists of memories that linger for longer than necessary, until it becomes a heavy burden they carry with them like a wallet filled with a hundred unneeded receipts, just adding to the weight without being practically useful.
Negative thoughts from the past are like weeds that suffocate the other plants in a garden, so don’t let them grow unattended, and make a conscious effort to change them. An easy way to forget worries from the past could be to just focus your attention to the present. Why is that when someone has a rough time, someone suggests that they change surroundings and go on a holiday elsewhere? Because just the fact that you are in a new place makes you more aware of your surroundings as you try to take in everything you can about this new place. So why don’t you make it a habit to notice your surroundings wherever you are. Alternatively, just break out from your routine slightly by trying new roads, new restaurants and going to the park instead of walking into a mall.
There’s a quote by John Greene that says, “You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking how you’ll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”
Exercise living in the moment. Take the time to consciously stop going on auto-pilot and observe, and if you must do it on your laptop, then try this website; http://www.donothingfor2minutes.com/