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.

536 thoughts on “The Anticipation of What is Next

  1. I am noticing and becoming much more aware of when thoughts enter to distract me from being present with myself. This has been a big behaviour of mine when I would regurgitate events and conversations in my head after they had happened but recently these thoughts are not getting so much of a hold, in fact I am letting them go as soon as I become aware of them… I can feel the power of choice; choosing to hold onto or simply letting them go.

  2. Thank you Nicole for this very powerful sharing of the changes you have made bringing more presence and awareness into each and every moment and what I am doing also is making such a difference to my life and is very powerful and allows a deep contentment responsibility and way of being that is love and is ever expanding.

  3. This is a forever learning for me, you put it brilliantly Nicole when you said ‘life supports this’. There is a massive difference in my day when I move with impulse, which is space and expansion in my body, trusting and knowing that it knows where to move and what is needed next. Like you shared Nicole, when you move with what is needed next you are not exhausted by the end of the day.

  4. I just love the power of the ripple effect that comes from decisions such as you made Nicole, a choice to live in the moment instead of spending your life and your precious energy trying to live one step ahead of yourself. Those around will certainly feel that when you are present with you, you are present with them; what a beautiful gift this is to appreciate.

  5. I can relate to the feeling of being ahead of myself in the push and drive to complete everything that my head was telling me to do and at the same time feeling my body struggle in keeping up with a pace that was not my natural rhythm. Now I have learnt to listen to how my body is feeling and enjoy the ease and natural flow in staying present in the moment which gives me more space to get things done than the rushing around ever did!

  6. When we are a couple of steps forward or backwards from what we are actually doing it can distract us from the simplicity of doing what needs to be done.

    1. I agree Suse – going into the mind and avoiding what the body is doing makes for complication. Being with the body and feeling what is next from the presence felt in the last task is very efficient.

  7. Thank you Nicole, your blog is a very timely reminder for me of the importance of staying present with myself with what I am currently doing, as recently I have allowed myself to get carried away with all that needs to be done before I go away on holidays. Staying in the moment will prevent me from squandering my energy by trying to be in the future and in the present at the same time.

  8. What is next? And is it possible to go through life not actually knowing what is next, but knowing that everything we have chosen in this moment guarantees our next moment, and so guarantees our what’s next too. All we need to choose is what is happening right now in this moment.

  9. Bringing the mind into line with what the body is doing is definitely an art. There is so much to distract us – like entertainment and all the food on offer to suppress how we feel in the body – which makes it harder to connect! The mind is not the enemy here, it’s how we use it and what thoughts we allow to rule.

  10. Staying present with myself, to the best of my ability, has reduced the pressure of life and my forever anticipating the future, thus not being really with me in my body. Doing one thing at a time was big for me as I took pride in multi tasking. I find Esoteric Yoga a huge support with this.

  11. I used to continually speed through life, rushing from one thing to another, thus never fully present. The Ageless Wisdom teachings have enabled me to slow down in one sense, yet as I focus on one thing at a time I accomplish more. Time seems to have slowed down and space has opened up!

  12. It’s true there are always going to be things to do and to plan for but I agree that by focussing on what we’re doing in the moment we’re doing it helps us to be more efficient and clear in how we’re doing what we’re doing.

  13. Something not often talked about in the media is the plague of exhaustion – perhaps because we do not recognise it because it is normal to wake up tired, to be tired by 3.00pm, to need a “pick me up”. As a result, not much thought has gone into exactly what exhausts us. Having worked through exhaustion over the past 10 years, and come through the other side where today I experience what I would call true vitality, I would happily suggest two things that could be added to that list – namely anxiety and drive. Equally one could add any emotional state of being. That in itself is the topic of a whole blog, suffice to say we need to look beyond the obvious factors such as food and lack of exercise for many of our lifestyle related predicaments.

  14. What I realised today is that when it comes to what is next in day to day chores I can feel a pressure when there are many things to complete, but in general I actually move through life pretty slowly and if you simply change your pace and commit deeper to what is actually going on and what needs to be done – then the pressure is not there but the sense of purpose is.

  15. Not living in anticipation of where you need to be next or what needs to be done is a gorgeous confirmation of living in and with your body rather than in or off in your head. The power of being present in each moment with a quality that honours you and your body cannot be ignored and is a truly beautiful way to move through life.

  16. Living in the moment – what young children do all the time. I find Esoteric Yoga supports me to do this, with its practicality – by choosing to stay present in every moment and movement.

  17. The world pretty much lives in anticipation, which makes sense , because if everyone just stopped and felt the present, the inevitable feeling of the awful mess would be a show stopper.

    1. So spot on Chris, hence the continual motion to not feel what we all inevitably one day will have admit to, that the way we are living is far from truth.

  18. Living in anticipation is like living on the edge of one’s chair, not fully trusting, creating time zones and living with a lot of tension in one’s body.

  19. Could this be the answer to all our woes, to all my woes, “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 see this as completing everything in a quality that supports you for the next part. If I race around or at the opposite end do nothing then this leaves parts out, parts out of my day that are incomplete and so when the sun next rises I have the day plus the incompleteness of the day before. Take this over a week, over a month, over a year and over a life time and all of a sudden, not really all of a sudden, but all of a sudden you are living multiple days, weeks etc in any one moment. Carrying all these or all this incompleteness must weigh you down as well. There is a lot in just this one line and if we dedicate to just this I wonder how much lighter we will become.

  20. I too am learning the art of staying in the present moment and not getting caught up in the future or past. When I do choose to stay with my current actions, time seems to expand and anxiousness and overwhelm melt away.

  21. Not living wth a purpose to life in every moment eventually catches up so becoming more aware that it is about committing to the moment and living what is being asked of me supports me to not only be present with myself but knowing that that which needs to get done gets done and without the raciness and drive but in true connection to myself.

  22. Life can become really intense if we live in the anticipation of what is next, we end up like a rat in the wheel, spinning and spinning without getting anywhere, so the approach that you are sharing here is definitely worth a try – a true support in life!

  23. Living in the moment was such a foreign concept to me when I first attended UniMed events. I either lived in the past or the future. Nowadays I become aware when I do this – though it occurs less frequently. I then have a choice……..

  24. Everything in this moment prepares us for what is coming in the next moment – I must remember this every time I get impatient or start anticipating what is coming next!!

  25. I must admit to not liking the feeling getting to my destination and not remembering the journey. Also simple things like, did I lock the car, and having to walk back and check it because i was obviously on autopilot when I did it. These are reminders for me to be present in all the little things I do, not just the big things that I have categorised as important.

  26. 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? The answer is Yes, many, many times… I was so not present with anything I did, always in a rush and never enough time…. Like you I was always ahead of myself which meant I was not in my body, but in my head, with my head always pushing and driving to do more. And I was exhausted too. Thankfully I changed my ways and no longer live like that, and it all started with one choice to self-nurture and nourish myself, and from that choice, I made many more self-loving choices that truly support the healing and clearing from my past loveless choices.

  27. Any move away from our natural order is a move towards body exhaustion. Great blog Nicole that offers ways in which to live in divine order, and how our days are then movements that come from our body rather than from our head.

  28. Reading this was the perfect exercise for me to practice being present. I kept finding myself remembering to pay a bill or text a friend about something, instead of simply finishing what I was doing, which was to simply read this blog post and nothing else!!!

  29. We seem to have this knack of separating the head from the body and running ourselves entirely from the mind – which leads to a total lack of presence and always being ahead of ourselves but never where we physically, tangibly and manifestly are.

  30. Learning to live in the present opens up space to meet whatever task is being called for next. No fretting about how you might have done better something you did yesterday and no imagining the task that is to be done tomorrow is more than you can handle.

  31. I have found the more present I am with myself the more I enjoy the natural flow and harmonious rhythm that my body aligns to so that to leave this feels quite a force and a push when I try to anticipate something and my body hardens in reaction and protection.

  32. It is factual and is proven right here that to remain with yourself eliminates exhaustion. It also can lift you out of emotions of misery and sadness etc. – “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.”

  33. Being in the moment is an extraordinary yet ordinary way to make time turn into space! It actually seems to discombobulate time! So now when I am sitting and waiting I just sit and wait. I slow myself down and just enjoy watching listening and feeling what is happening around me.

  34. ‘Challenging’ and ‘trying’, two words that go together although we don’t often consider that they do. It’s so true that when we are ‘trying’ it’s like we’re adding a whole other force to something rather than simply accepting that we are just doing it. It makes sense then that it becomes a challenge because of the push behind it. When we just get on with what we need to do and remain focused on solely that, it really is effortless and we the pressure and race against time disappears.

  35. I love these examples Nicole and can so relate to them.. how much time have I wasted in thinking ‘did I lock the front door?’ ‘did I blow out that candle?’! When we’re present and focused on what we’re actually doing in that moment, we waste far less time and energy wondering about things half an hour later, which frees us up to enjoy each moment even more – not because anything special is happening, but simply because the moment is happening and we’re fully present in it.

  36. When we are committed to having a relationship with our body, presence is like a bi-product of our willingness to be with our movements and how we feel.

  37. In my experience any moment forward or back from where we stand is a deeply harming drain on our body. It is made to work and work hard, but not to physiologicaly run at a much faster rate than what is truly needed. This is what I feel is set in motion when ever my mind moves ahead of or away from my body.

  38. If we are always living in “the anticipation of what is next” we are in effect saying that the moment that we are currently in is not important, not exciting enough, too boring, etc and so we lurch forward into what we hope may be a better moment. How exhausting and how depleting to our body is that, with the tension of the anticipation always buzzing away on the inside. To live in the moment is not in the least exhausting and when we do we are always ready for the magic that just might be waiting for us.

  39. It’s really common for us to either live in the next moment or a past moment, this morning I noticed both kinds of thoughts playing out in my head – how can I be in the past and the future at the same time? How exhausting! When all I need to do is be in this current moment and give that my full attention.

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