4 lessons on living in the now


What time is it? It’s always NOW.

Below are 4 lessons I learned from living in the “Now,” my #OneWord2015.

On Tuesday, December 15, I’ll share 3 steps from these lessons to help us choose a new #OneWord2016.



You don’t have to understand the whole thing; just accept this piece of your situation. This one step, not the next 99 steps. Pay full attention to life as it is. Be present to it without creating stories around it.

Yield to circumstances; offer no resistance to life. Resistance is weakness. Vulnerability is strength. Complaining makes you a victim. All you have to cope with is this moment. Give up waiting. Give your full attention to now.



Observe attachments to your own opinions and thoughts. Then let them go. Don’t be trapped by your mind; just observe it. Be as interested in your reactions to a situation as the situation itself.

You are not your ego. You are not your thoughts. Don’t judge them too seriously. Listen to the voice in your head, but don’t become it.



When unneeded, withdraw attention from the past and the future to stay in the present. Surrender to the pain and pleasure now, not a fixed outcome that it will be this way forever.

It’s always now and never the future. Time is an illusion. This moment is the only one we ever have. This is where God is most present.

Living too much in the past can cause guilt or sadness. Living too much in the future can cause anxiety or fear. Time is the root of suffering when there’s not enough presence.



Release fixating on outcomes and give attention to the journey. Let “here” be enough. Wherever you are, but there totally. Is there something lacking in this moment? Then leave it, change it, or accept it.

You can’t always be happy, but you can always be at peace. Forgive the past for any pain; forgive the future for its uncertainty.

Whatever is in this present moment, accept it as if you chose it. Work with it, not against it.


* * *

More here on “5 Ways to Stay in the Nowand excerpts from Eckhart Tolle’s, The Power of Now

Is it easy or hard for you to stay in the moment? What helps you stay present? Please share in the comments.

Tomorrow:  “3 Steps in Choosing One Word for 2016”

26 thoughts on “4 lessons on living in the now

  1. Linda Stoll

    Well, I admire you, Lisa, for living out your WORD this year. This is something that just never has caught on with me, though I tried.

    I love the lessons you’ve learned and that you’ve backed it up with writing to guide the way.

    Hugs for you, friend. You inspire me!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Linda. OneWord doesn’t work for everyone; it just happens to resonate well with my personality I suppose. ha. I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s book “Better than Before” about personality types and habits. For better or worse, I have a strong tendency to stick with habits. 🙂

  2. Sharon

    Wow, what a perfect summation of your wise thoughts on NOW. To answer your question, I find it very difficult to stay in the moment. I am most often caught up in fearful fretting over the future. A person overwhelmed with anxiety (like I often am) finds it next to impossible to stay off the *What If* train, and it can carry you far from peace. I like your thoughts and advice on the power of staying in the now. After all, it’s really the only moment we have much control over. And one of the wisest things to do in the *now* is to focus on our Lord, and to remember our eternal destiny. Eternal perspective is the antidote to fear of the future. Because the REAL future lies in the very presence of God!!


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Staying in the moment has been VERY challenging to me, too, Sharon. Even after a whole year of focusing on it, I’m still not good at it. But I do see progress, so that’s positive. 🙂 And I’ve definitely seen benefits when I do succeed at it, so I hope to continue with it, even though I’ll leave it behind as my single OneWord.

      That *WhatIf* train can take us far, far away, yes? I’ve had a life-time ticket on it myself ha. But yes, already knowing that we have the perfect future ahead is a great antidote to fear! Thanks, Sharon.

  3. Michele Morin

    Staying in the moment is definitely a challenge for me. Thanks for these thoughts that argue well for the wisdom of it. I like your comment above about the “What if” train. I also need to avoid peering ahead down the track to the places I still can’t see. God’s daily grace is for the day.
    Blessings, Lisa.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “God’s daily grace” – that’s definitely been one major key for me to stay in the moment. I guess it’s a challenge for more of us than I thought. There’s definitely a balance to be found in living in the moment as well as appreciating the past and planning for the future, but I lean far too heavy into the future. 😉 Thanks for weighing in, Michele!

  4. Jerralea

    “Let “here” be enough” – wise words, Lisa but I admit I sometimes have trouble with it. I’m a dreamer and sometimes, for me, it’s hard to focus on the present.

    Goodness – a lot of good stuff here to look at. I’ll have to return again!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It’s hard for me too, Jerralea. And good planning for the future is definitely something worthy of our time in the now! 🙂 But I just don’t need to focus so much on the future that I miss my present. Still lots for me to learn.

  5. Lynn Severance

    Lisa, this is timely for me and I am so appreciative of all it took for you to summarize your “Now” year. I want to explore the links you have included with your commentary.

    I get caught in the “what ifs” and need to come back to God’s Presence in my present and with me “now”, remembering He is preparing what comes next.

    My current journey toward publication has been a real test of my living in the “now” as I know God is overseeing each step and has chosen well my “midwives”. However, that team’s approach is to not tell the author “all the processing steps” as to what is involved. Their stance is that authors become overwhelmed by all the steps. I am just the opposite. I want to know the steps and have been blindsided a few times in not knowing them.

    In my work in the past being part of a work-team, I knew ( rather each member of the team knew ) the other person’s role. It must be my teacher background of working from a lesson plan: knowing the end goal and then the steps to get there.

    My word for this year has been “Believe” and has that ever been challenged through months of medical tests since last April and surprise twists along that journey. Then the joy of the publication offer in the midst of this other caused a bit of a double “no knowing” and being called to trust God who does know.

    I simply need to relax and let Him unfold His plans and do the best I can with what I “do know”. And the one thing I do know is HIM.

    Great posting!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m so excited about your publishing journey, but I hear the frustration in your words about not being kept in the know. That would bother me too. Some people prefer that; others of us LIKE to know what’s going on. 🙂 I’ll be praying that your midwives will keep that in mind, and that God will keep His Presence visible in your mind’s eye to help with this process. It will be worth it when your book comes to light and we can hold it in our hands at last!

      I’m glad that you know God so well because you make him more real to me, too. Love you!

  6. Michael Noker

    This is definitely something I’m still working on. I’ve always been a planner – I’ve lived a lot of my life waiting for a specific future that may never come. I took some steps to get past that this year, but I’ve got a long way to go! Hopefully in 2016 (and going forward – wait, here I am, living in the future again!), I’ll be able to actually implement this and truly appreciate where I am right now.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s awesome that you took steps to actually live and enjoy THIS year. It’s easy for us planner-types to stay too much in the future, but it’s now that we’re meant to enjoy and where we are to be present (as well as tomorrow). Granted, good planning for later helps us enjoy it more when we get to it. 🙂 Gotta keep a proper balance, right? Thanks for sharing, Michael.

  7. Carol

    It is wonderful how your understanding of living in the moment deepened throughout the year. I appreciate the wise and practical observations that you made in this post. We are freer to be a blessing to others when we live in the moment. So glad you visited my blog. Blessings and joy this Christmas season!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Carol. It is amazing how God will reveal things to us when we stay more attentive and open to his presence in the present. I hope I can continue on with that. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Mary Geisen

    You inspire me! Your one word has been lived out this past year and the lessons learned are great ones for all of us. Thank you for sharing this with us. Your four lessons are ones I need to practice in my own life. I will be interested in reading your post on Wednesday. I have no clue about a word for 2016. My word for 2015 was “shine” and I’m not sure that I know why or what the lessons I needed to learn. Have a great week!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Well, sometimes we don’t even realize our lessons that we’ve been learning until much after the fact. So I’m sure your “shine” year will reveal itself to you! 🙂 What a beautiful one word choice. I haven’t decided yet for 2016 either. I try to hold my thoughts loosely until it get closer because I have changed it at the last moment. ha.

  9. Jean Wise

    Great overview of living in the present. #2 is my most difficult one – those negative voices sometimes just take over. Am learning to manage them better but will take a lifetime!!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’ve been working on #2 this whole year myself, Jean. It is hard to let go of that constant chatter in my brain. I continue my practice of Centering Prayer, but I’m not seeing much outer progress. Hopefully the inner progress is there and I’m just not seeing it. ha. So yes, I’m with on the journey of a lifetime!

      1. Jean Wise

        Have your read how Michele DeRusha is practicing stillness for five minutes each day. she has blogged about it lately. I am thinking that would be a great practice to incorporate for 2016. Ironically stillness was my 2015 word.

        1. LisaNotes Post author

          Yes, I have been keeping up with Michelle’s 5-minute practice and I love it! I tried something similar to that a few years back with L.L. Barkat’s book “God in the Yard.” It was much harder than I thought it would be! 🙂 I agree it would be a great practice to incorporate into 2016….

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Well, it doesn’t always pay to come up with One Word too soon anyway. I’ve been known to change mine at the last day of the year. 🙂 God reveals in his time. Merry Christmas, Kelly!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *