Living in the present moment should be easy, right? I won’t speak for you, but for me it has always been a challenge. I tend to dwell about the past, and look to what I want to happen, or be different in the future, instead of living in the moment.
Why do I do that? I haven’t quite figured out yet, except it is a problem that most people have, and I’m sure that you have experienced yourself. We tend to not experience life from the present moment. You want to know the answer before you have experienced the question. You read a book, and you want to flip to the end to find out the ending. But the key to making real change in your life is to live in the moment.
I have a good memory, which I have said to multiple people can be both a blessing and a curse. One of the few times that my memory fails me is when I have a seizure. To give further background of my seizure disorder, I saw a neurologist when I was a child. In last week’s post, I went into some details about how my seizure disorder effected me as a child, now for the adult side. My neurologist had said that my seizure disorder would probably return as an adult, but he couldn’t state in what form. Seizures tend in be cyclical and hormonally based, so there are different onset periods. I missed the one when I hit puberty, but I hit the one as I was moving into my 20’s. As a child, I had grand mal seizures. These are the types of seizures that everyone thinks of when they think of seizures. As an adult, I was diagnosed with absence seizures. I would space out for a few moments, and then my consciousness would return. Looking back now, I can’t say for certain that being presented with those circumstances at that time that I would do anything different with them. But what do I do next? I went to a new neurologist. Of course, what is next? Tests. I had to have an EEG where they make you stay up all night and then tape suction cups to your head. They want you to fall asleep without moving and sitting up in a chair. I don’t know about you, but I’m not the type of person that can sleep on command. I’ve had this test a couple of times, and it has come to the point where they give me something to help me fall asleep. I still can’t sleep during the test, but at least I’m somewhat relaxed. During one test I still hadn’t fallen asleep several hours after the test was complete. I guess sleep medication and I aren’t compatible.
The second test that they ordered was an MRI. They wanted to make sure that there was nothing structurally wrong with my brain. I went to have the MRI and the technician said that it would take an hour and a half, but if I moved during the test it would blur the images, and I might have to come back. No way was I going to do that again. The technician taped my head down to the table so that I could feel if I moved too much. Luckily, I have only had to do this test once. The neurologist said there was nothing structurally wrong with my brain and that it was normal. My boss at the time said that couldn’t possibly be true and I should have a second opinion. Funny guy. So, I received my diagnosis and they put me on medication. The medication would help my mind to not wander, but the medication presented a new obstacle. If I forgot to take it, I could have a grand mal seizure. This has happened to be a couple of times over the years.
So, what does all of this have to do with living in the present moment? According to Louise Hay’s book, “You Can Heal Your Life”, seizures are about “[r]running away from the family, from the self, or from life.” So, at 19, what was going on. You could say that I was running away from myself or from life. I didn’t know how to be me. It should be one of the simplest things to do, but I had forgotten how. I would look at other people’s lives and could imagine myself in their place. I wasn’t living my life; I was moving through the motions. I would go to work and school. Hang out with friends. And repeat. I would look forward to the day when things would change, but they didn’t start to change until I did.
Now I mentioned earlier that the medication has caused me to have a couple of grand mal seizures if I forget to take my medication. I can look at these times and the memory loss drives me crazy because I lose a few moments before, and my complete memory doesn’t come back until I have slept. The connections in my brain reform while I sleep, but what about the between time. I exist. I typically remember my name but holding conversations and answering questions is challenging. My memory exists in snapshots. I have one memory and I have another one two hours later. I will never be able to fill in all the pieces. What I have come to realize is that while it drives me crazy to not have all the pieces, I am better off. When I have had a seizure, it forces me to live in the moment. Now I wouldn’t say that I purposely forget to my medication so that I can live in the moment. That would be stupid of me. But in that time frame I am in that moment and only in that moment. There is no past and there is no future. There is only now. That moment teaches me so much about how to live life.
We manifest the life that we want when we can act from the present; when we have released our past and are not constantly looking to the future. That is what having seizures have taught me. How are you doing at living in the present moment? Is there something that happens that forces you to be in the moment? Remember we are all a work in progress. Do you want to know more, click here to book a discovery session or an appointment.