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Kim Selby

Focus on the future? Live in the moment? What's a girl to do?

“It's funny - I just got back from yoga where the mantra is "live in the moment" - but we are always fighting the nagging "what's next" question.  It would be cool if you can address how to tie those things together!!”

Author – an anonymous friend of mine in an email.


The above few sentences are from a good friend of mine. The idea she presented floated around in my brain and a lightbulb came over my head, like in the comics.  I didn’t come to any great revelation, but I do have some thoughts.

True, we need to live in the present, not have our minds float into the future, or worry about we did wrong in the past. So if that’s the case, HOW do we focus on what’s next, WHILE living in the present.

My buddy Beth and I created an event for women called NExT – Navigating Exciting Transitions.  I recently held the second such event, a great success (in my eyes at least), and thus the query from my other friend who attended. So many of us are constantly searching for the Next great job, adventure, creative outlet etc. etc.

Yoga instructors, meditation teachers, gurus and self help authors/speakers/cool folk, all tell us to live in the moment. I AGREE - really I do. If you are cooking dinner and your mind wanders to tomorrow, chances are that spiralizer may just end up spiralizing your little finger (not that I would know of course!)  If you are walking your dog, but suddenly remember that text you just had to send, and you walk into a telephone pole while doing so (not that I would know of course!), it might be better to just stay in the moment enjoying nature, walking Spot.

HOWEVER, there is a time and a place to focus on what’s next for you – mindfully, while being fully present of course.

The most challenging aspect of yoga, to me, is not the pretzel like contortions (ok, they are difficult too), but the focusing on my breath, being present and NOT letting monkey brain swing from branch to branch in my mind.  Those times when I am able to flow with breath and movement and be consistently present are the ones that fill my soul with delight. The energy flows from fingers to toes and a sense of calm enters my body. Truly wonderful. Doesn’t happen all the time of course, but it is occurring more and more, because I have been practicing yoga more diligently. Practice, practice, practice. When I come out of such a practice, I find that I can focus more fully on the future.

I am also looking for what’s NEXT with my business.  So when I sit down to write, create, research, I try to be totally present. I think being present in the moment means just that. Don’t get distracted, don’t let the tv/phone/facebook draw you away from your task at hand. You CAN be present AND focus on what’s coming down the pike….

I think LIVING in the moment is essential to the enjoyment of life. If we are constantly thinking about our next task, meal, adventure…we are definitely taking something away from the reality we are living. The reality we have indeed created (but that’s another topic….hello law of attraction!)

 So, as I said a paragraph or two ago -  when the time is right to focus on what’s Next – TRULY FOCUS….in the moment… you can create more moments for yourself.  Grand moments, great moments, delicious moments, hilarious moments, adventurous moments are all waiting for you if you are mindful in this moment conjuring up exactly what you want in the next one. Just separate the two things. Live in the moment, not for the next moment. But create your future in the present. Piece of cake….right? Practice, practice, practice!

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