Back to the Future
Sometimes taking a photo actually doesn’t help you remember a moment. In fact, sometimes it replaces the moment you could have had because you were too focused on snapping the right shot. Once you realize this, it becomes easier to put your phone down and be present. Right?
However, there is another way you could be missing out on moments even without your device. It’s possible to miss a moment while you’re still living in it, if your head is too focused on looking back at it.
Your brain gets fixated on “we should do this more often” and talking about doing something more. I go to a lot of concerts, and I have made it a point to just “be” and enjoy the show without worrying about recording the entire performance AND without thinking about the upcoming shows I will be attending. How did I get to this point?
The very first concert I had attended was in a time of my life where I wasn’t really the adventurous-type. I still wouldn’t classify myself in the “adventurous” category, but I would consider myself more outgoing than I ever have been before. During my younger years I was a bit of a loner and completely terrified of life. I could literally find the downside to every opportunity and it would always trump the upside. Needless to say my life has been pretty boring up to this point. Yay for your roaring twenties.
So when I finally said yes to something, it was a big deal for me. I attended a concert and my life was changed. It was amazing. It was fun. But that’s all I remember about it. Do you know why?
I found that while I was at this concert, I was thinking to the future. “I need to go out more, I want to experience more out of life, I love concerts I want to go to more...” etc. I got caught up in the noise of longing for more that I was missing out on the experience I was living in. Now, I don’t remember a single detail of that show. So I continued my journey as one of those “crazy concert people” in hopes of filling the need for more experiences. After a few shows, I stopped myself and realized that part of the reason I kept longing for more of those experiences was because I kept missing out on them due to my lack of mental participation.
The most recent show I went to was The Band CAMINO (and if you don’t know them…you need to know them). I realized that this was the moment for which I have been waiting. A small venue with my favorite people, surrounded by people who just wanted to have a good time and who don’t care about anyone else around them (yes I’m talking to you girls next to us who decided to yell-converse at each other the entire time *flashes judgmental stare into the distance plotting vengeance*). In other words, I didn’t allow myself to think about anything other than the present. I didn’t allow myself to care about what other people thought of my atrocious dance moves. AND I didn’t really care about the fact that we couldn’t see over the excessive amount of abnormally tall fans they have.
I was just free to be in the moment.
Don’t rob yourself blind to the moments you’re in. I use concerts as an example because it’s something I do often and something I know a lot about. But place yourself in the important moments of your life. Snap one or two photos, allow yourself to push aside the thoughts that distract you from the moments, and JUST BE. No media required. No “we should do this…” thoughts. Just be and watch how your life changes drastically.
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