The “Right Now” Game

The “Right Now” Game is one you can play by yourself and you always win – just for trying.

Mindfulness is one of the keys to being happy. After all, how can we enjoy the moment if we are not mindful? On the other end, mindfulness also helps us to be more aware of our negative thoughts, beliefs, patterns and behavior. Meditation is one of the best ways to improve mindfulness. Meditation can be done in many, many ways. One experiment in meditation I called the Right Now Game. The object of the Right Now Game is to become aware of all that is going on “right now”. What is going on for you right now? As Nick Nolte’s character in the movie The Peaceful Warrior says “There’s never nothing going on.” This, by the way, is a sound bite I hear when I open my computer. The rest of the quote is “Take out the trash. The trash is anything that distracts you from this moment – here, now”. It is a GREAT inspirational movie. As inspirational as it is, no, I did not get the idea for the Right Now Game from The Peaceful Warrior – but I certainly could have. There are SO many things going on right now – even if you are simply sitting and reading this article. “Sitting” and “reading” are, after all, verbs.
How to play the Right Now Game:
Say or think to yourself “Right now ___________________________” and fill in the blank.
Here are some examples:
Right now I am sitting. Right now I am reading. Right now my heart is pumping. Right now my bladder is digesting my food. Right now I am a husband. Right now I am a therapist. Right now I am living in Salt Lake City. Right now I am an American. Right now I am a friend. Right now I am pausing to think of what “right now” to write next. Right now I am adjusting my glasses. etc. etc.
I also suggest making sure you liberally pepper your “right nows” with how you are feeling: Right now I (physically) feel some tension in my shoulders. Right now (emotionally) I feel content.
Staying in touch with your emotions is an important part of mindfulness because so often we make decisions based on our emotion – AND a miriad of other reasons it might be important to be in touch with our feelings, but that’s an entirely different article.
The other “right now” I suggest is “Right now I am doing _____________________ because _______________”. This is important because if you do not at least occassionally think about why you are doing what you are doing, you might find yourself focusing so completely on being in the moment that you forget why you are there. For instance, “Right now I am driving to work because I want to keep my job.”
When I did this, I enjoyed it so much I did it for another two days. I never forgot where I laid my keys and I was more attentive and more alive than I had ever felt in my life. Give it a try – “right now” (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

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