Narrative versus experiential focus

So, the more I think about that video talk the other day, the more it resonates with me. Most of us, most of the time, are focusing narratively in any given moment. We are telling a story to ourselves, inside our minds, about either what is happening around us (the present), or what it reminds us of (the past), or what we want it to lead to (the future), or something completely unrelated (the escape). It’s our default state of being. But we have an alternate option.

We can think experientially instead. In this way, we are actively engaged in each moment. This method of focusing on the present and experiencing that moment for exactly what it is allows us to experience more authentically. We are no longer carrying the weight of every experience we’ve ever had that reminds us of this moment or swollen with the expectation of all the future paths that this moment may lead us to, as we would with a narrative focus. We are truly appreciating each moment for its own sake. It allows us to slow down, to exist and to simply be in the present.

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