Living in the Moment

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Here’s a thought-provoking excerpt from Heather Havrilesky’s best-selling book, How to Be a Person in the World:

Sometimes you have to let go of your shiny imaginary creations in order to give in to the magic of the real world, which is far more glorious and full of hope than it first appears. By filling our heads with fantasy worlds, we not only start to expect too much but we also become easily bored with the real world and its very real magic. Or, we imagine that we can only exist in the real world if we fill our heads with magical distractions. We create relationships that aren’t based on real compatibilities but on the crazy mixed-up tapestries that we ourselves constructed in our overactive minds.

Rich tapestries block out the magic of real moments. Rich tapestries block out real people—love interests, but also other people who matter. Rich tapestries compromise friendships, and they block us from our career goals, and they blot out the sun.

But controlling your brain is not exactly easy. You have to train yourself to romanticize a life outside of the fantasy and create a tapestry that’s just as rich. That requires a buoyant solitude that isn’t easy to achieve.

A few things that will make your alone time more buoyant: Inspiring music. A clean space. Regular, vigorous exercise. Great books. A nice bath. A wide range of beverages in your fridge. Friendly pets. Engrossing home projects. Your setting matters! You have to put a little energy into your surroundings when you live alone.

But this is also about living in the moment, isn’t it? That something we all have to learn to do, whether we’re alone or not. That requires powering down all of the fantastical imagined things few will have one day and just soaking in this moment instead.

Source: How to Be a Person in the World by Heather Havrilesky

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