I am a psychotherapist in private practice and I work with clients by utilizing different modalities that I feel will be most appropriate to help them. In one form of treatment that I use not only in my practice but in my personal life is called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). There are four modules to DBT, but the one I come back to time and time again is Mindfulness. 

The way I understand Mindfulness is to be fully in the present moment without interference from the past or the future. The present is where reality resides, where we can be fully alive, make changes, and to work on problems that arise in the here and now. The past is gone and what’s done is done – we cannot change the past. As much as we would like to undo a problem or take back something we said, it is forever a part of the past that we cannot revisit. The future is not here yet, but some people try to project (usually worries and fears) into a time that is yet to occur as if they can predict the future by saying, “Yeah, but what if…? 

In order to practice Mindfulness, we have to train ourselves to be aware of where our thinking and emotions reside. If they are in the past, we know that nothing can bring us to that exact time and place again. If we are too far in the future, we are living in a speculative world where we are only guessing as to what the outcome will be. Only in the present can we fix what’s broken, have real meaningful relationships that can be maintained, work on ourselves, and engage fully in life.

Every day I try to remember that I have left the past, haven’t arrived in the future yet, and can only have full control of my life right here in the present.