The Anticipation of What is Next

by Nicole Serafin, age 40, Tintenbar, NSW

Living a day at a time and being in the moment of that day always felt like an art – an art I was never able to conquer.

Why is it that we are unable to simply be where it is that we are at? Why are we always looking ahead to what needs to be done next, or where we should be next, rather than being in the present? There are always things to be done and places to be. Could it be that the things we do could be done efficiently and clearly if we simply focussed on what we were doing in the moment we were doing them, before moving on to what was needed next?

I have felt the push to be somewhere, to get something done so as to move on to what is next, never stopping to feel what it was that I was actually doing. I had been caught up in doing, being in life in overdrive, and often on automatic pilot.

Living like this made me very impatient; never still long enough to enjoy what I was doing or who I was with. I always had in the back of my mind whatever was next. My days were exhausting as I used up most of my energy getting to somewhere before I had even left the place I was at.

Have you ever had that feeling of being ahead of yourself? Have you ever taken a glass out of a cupboard but already been one step towards the fridge to fill it? Or driven off from home not able to remember if you had closed and locked the front door?

I began to stop and wonder why it was that I could get to work and not even remember driving past the usual landmarks that were on my way. It amazed me how much I missed or did not remember because I was not truly present in a moment to begin with. I began to stop and take note of what it was that I was actually doing, and how I was doing it. I stopped and took the time to feel the simple things, like how fast I turned the tap on or how I prepared things. It began to make a huge difference in my day and how I was left at the end of it.

Gradually I could recall that yes, I had locked the front door when I left the house and no, the iron was not on. I could recall this because I was taking the time to be present in each moment as I was doing things. I began to bring my focus to other areas of my day and gradually life became not so crazy and hectic. I actually enjoyed whatever it was I was doing in the moment and took that feeling with me to what was needed in the next moment, and so on.

I now have energy left at the end of my day. I no longer live in the anticipation of where I should be next or what needs to be done next. I am no longer constantly in my head trying to remember ‘did I do that or not?’ These simple choices have changed my life in many different areas and continue to do so. The way that I choose to live and be with me brings changes to not only myself, but also to everything and everyone around me.

I now wake in the mornings without the rush of what needs to be done but rather with me, simply doing what needs to be done – one thing at a time. I get to work and live my day in the same easiness that I got up in, rather than in the overwhelm and raciness. I now have the space to be able to get everything plus more done, not only in the mornings, but also throughout the day. I find I am able to enjoy my family and children completely, being able to stop and be with them. There is a feeling of contentment from everyone.

I still fall into the trap of my past ways (life tends to support that). I notice that if I go into the doing and overwhelm of life there is no longer a flow and my day becomes quite challenging – challenging because I am trying to do ahead of myself, rather than to just be and do what is needed… and move on to the next thing from that. I know I can continue to make choices to be with myself in all that I do. The true vitality and enjoyment this presence brings me, and the ripple effect it has on the people around me, is well worth it.

585 thoughts on “The Anticipation of What is Next

  1. It is the quality of the present moment that founds the next so whenever we get ahead of ourselves or live in the past the integrity of that quality is automatically lost.

  2. Staying with us in each moment is indeed an art, and when we do it we find we have more space for life and us in it.

  3. Life actively encourages us to jump from one thing to the next and in this we ignore the quality we’re in with ourselves in how we are in that thing we do and we end up with a body that is tired, racy, stressed and at the mercy of life. When we come back to living life so we’re present in all we do, then we meet life from ourselves and life no longer does us, and all experience the grace and joy of us being us in life.

  4. Recently I have noticed at work when I start worrying about getting my task done in the allotted time provided for that job I begin to experience all kinds of hiccups in the process, I start forgetting things, needing to go back and forth to my tool box and the parts/supplies room more than usual and run into issues that slow me down. Comparatively, when I simply focus on what I am doing in that moment, stay connected to how my body feels in that action, and pause momentarily to feel what is needed, things flow smoothly, the job gets done without hassle, and there is a feeling that I am moving with time, not against it.

  5. It’s very much an art form learning to live only in this moment and to not bring our fears or trepidations from the past or our expectations for the future, but to instead learn to live with today as a fresh canvas and rather than predict or control or manipulate what is ahead… be ready for anything.

  6. I was always on automatic pilot, forward pilot and rush pilot, no wonder I was always feeing tired and drained! These days I no longer rush or push forward, as I feel so much more in my body and aware of my body when I move. The old habits do try and sneak back in, which is to check out, but now I always notice and make amends.

  7. Love this sharing as it invites me to be more aware of each step that I make, every single thing that I touch…and makes me realize how many things I take for granted along my day. Daily activities such as making my bed or comb my hair can be a beautiful and a very enjoyable experience if I’m present. Thank you Nicole.

    1. To be aware of every single thing you touch, is a great way to be more aware and conscious of everything we do, and all of a sudden I am more aware of my fingers move as I type.

  8. How easy does overwhelm creep in when we live in our thoughts and disconnect from our body and from being present? It snaps the joy out of our day and leaves us feeling flat, drained and exhausted. No matter what we do, if we connect to each moment with conscious presence and move in a way that is full of purpose without drive or any images of the end result, this free us up to enjoy all that we do. Our movements are then a blessing and not a chore.

  9. What you share Nicole is how you started to enjoy what you were doing and took that feeling to what was needed next, it feels to me that you are bringing appreciation to each moment and that confirms every next moment, beautiful!

    1. When we do this we bring joy to our day and to everyone around us. We can choose to live, work and go out into the world with a level of love and joy that simply blesses the world with our every movement.

  10. That jumping from one thing to the next is so prevalent and life encourages it, but when you truly consider it you have people being half there doing something and already onto the next thing rather than being fully in each moment .. and why live less than being fully in each thing we do?

  11. The ‘looking ahead’ is so familiar that a few years ago I wouldn’t have noticed the difference between being in the present moment and being ahead of myself. The Esoteric Yoga has been an incredible modality to feel the gift of being in the moment and of being connected in my body in stillness and in movement and that has given me a marker to even know I am jumping into the future.

  12. Nicole, this is very much a blog that I need to read and heed right now as I spend much of my time in my head planning ahead, which of course as you rightly share leaves one exhausted. I have been inspired to place myself on a ‘living in the moment’ program and will observe how this evolves.

  13. It is like overwhelm is there waiting for us… If we allow it, guaranteed to take us off our path… And it is very liberating to start to feel that it is actually a choice

    1. It certainly is Cjames2012, once I fully understood this, I have been able to let go of overwhelm, especially when I connect to the knowing that I am equipped and fully supported to handle everything that is presented to me and nothing is too difficult if I stay connected to my inner heart and constantly listen to my body.

  14. I love what you are sharing here Nicole, conscious presence is something that we should be taught from a young age as it is life changing if we live this in all our movements.

  15. If we can attend to what is in front of us, and to actually stay present when we are doing it, then what is needed to do will actually flow towards us, and we can experience the gracefulness and the harmony that is innate within the universe

  16. I find when I at times look at my calendar with all that I have to do in the week I can feel tension and anxiety building up, when i come back to one day at a time life becomes more manageable, but when i can and do come back to one moment at a time, being present with the task at a time life becomes a flow and a joy.

  17. Love it Nicole, for many people it seems maybe normal to forget if we locked the front door or turned of the heating when leaving home but it is actually not normal and we can live in a way that is constantly with ourselves which naturally makes us not forget what we have done. To be able to do this I found I have to be willing to feel how I am feeling at all times and not ‘check out’ of how I feel. When I do that I am reminded when I go out of the door and am not sure if I turned the lights off for instance.

  18. ‘My days were exhausting as I used up most of my energy getting to somewhere before I had even left the place I was at.’ when you write it down like that it looks ridiculous, why should we even try but it is what we do until we stop and appreciate each moment and simply bring our quality to it

  19. If we can simply focus and do what is in front of us, and everything else will actually fall into place… It really is simple and yet to the mind this is almost impossible… Luckily our mind does not have to run us.

  20. Being in the moment without any purpose doesn’t quite work, we need focus and purpose and to be always asking what is next, but without losing ourselves in our heads. Still a work in progress for me!

  21. Conscious presence should be a subject at school, to command the mind to be disciplined enough to remain with the activity it is carrying out, can be quite challenging in a world that promotes multitasking and forward planning as key tool to stay organised. I am in hospitality and when it gets really busy and you have loads of meals to make or coffee to get out, the only way to get it all out in a fast fashion is to be with each movement, as if you only have that one customer, or one docket, as soon as you get ahead of yourself, you’re in trouble.

  22. In establishing a true rhythm and flow to our day we are able to enjoy building a quality of presence with ourselves, connecting to a harmony and inner wisdom within our body that guides our body to know what is next.

  23. Have you ever had that feeling of being ahead of yourself? Yes this was how I lived, I was always rushing to get things done and to get to places – thus having no presence of how I got there, being so focused on the destination! Thankfully I no longer live like this and in fact rushing feels so yucky in my body.

  24. Great sharing Nicole, I have been caught by getting exhausted because I was always looking at what was next when I was still working on something else, to be concentrating on one thing is very joyful, and hugely rewarding, then when that job is finished we can move onto the next thing.

  25. Being present in each moment is a quality that makes my life run very smoothly and simply, at times I can become very ‘busy’ and my mind takes over and I become very racy in my body and it feels exhausting.

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