A one-minute experiment for dealing with what sucks

Posted on Jan 19, 2021

bouquet on bookshelf

I heard a phrase the other day that has stuck with me:

Look to, not forward.

I took this to mean look to the experience happening right now as opposed to looking forward to what you’ll do next, what you want, etc. Assuming our waking hours are spent mentally in either the past, present, or future, I’m guessing I spend somewhere around 90% in the future, 9.9% in the past, .1% present. 🙃

So is this practical? How do you actually “look to” and can it make your life any better?

One-minute experiment

Try this quick exercise to see how this approach to life might feel different from what you’re accustomed to.

Think of an aspect in your life where you’re feeling discontent. What sucks?

(For me, it’s business clarity. For you, maybe it’s your job, a conversation you’re avoiding, your physical vitality.)

For just a moment, look to the discontent without trying to fight it or change it. How do you experience it? There’s no right answer. Just notice, even if what you’re noticing is nothing or numbness.

(For me: ruminating on unanswered questions, mentally exhausting myself, self-pressure to figure everything out, tension in my neck, shoulders curling in, squeezing in my chest…)

Remember to breathe.

Notice as thoughts from the past or future occur. Did you remember times you felt really unhappy about this aspect of your life? Imagine future scenarios of continued discontent or even catastrophe? Return to experiencing the present.

What do you notice? What questions, insights, or sensations arise?

Take a deep breath and thank yourself for being willing to try some silly idea a gal posted online in hopes of bettering your life.

What was it like for you to experiment with this “look to, not forward” concept? Let me know.

Photo is the view from my home-office desk, my bookshelf displaying a gorgeous bouquet a past client sent me today in celebration of my new book!!