How I Learnt to Live Now! 26


If I ever find myself stuck in a rut, I ask myself: “what is special and unique about where you are in life right now?”. It always seemed impossible to live in the moment, to breathe in the now and just be. Having suffered with depression and later anxiety, it was just so hard.

Depression and anxiety is a cruel combination. Depression casts a dark cloud as you wallow in the past, anxiety leaves you paralysed and petrified by the future. This leaves little room for the present. My life was held prisoner between Depression and Anxiety, while lines formed around my eyes due to fatigue, dehydration and the passage of un-savoured time.

A huge burst of bravery and determination to be with the one I love catapulted me out of my comfort zone when I moved to India, initially making my mental health worse. My old habits didn’t fit in with this new way of life. My concept of personal space and etiquette didn’t translate, I had to face my fears and anxieties. I no longer had a choice, I couldn’t hide behind familiarity.

Here I was, with the man of my dreams, but the perfect partner isn’t a cure-all. I discovered, despite popular belief, that only I could cultivate my happiness and health. 

Every time I found myself outside my comfort zone, doing something I felt scared to do, I shed a little piece of anxiety. This started with small and simple things, such as smiling at the people I didn’t know during social situations I didn’t understand.

I didn’t want to be a prisoner anymore.

As I was a world away from my normal, I realised how much time I had wasted not doing the things I could no longer do. I should have spent more time with the people I love, I should have enjoyed wearing fluffy slippers during cosy winter nights, I should have watched the ocean more often when it was only a five minute walk away (I now live 500 miles away from the coast in the geographical centre of India).

I began to make lists of the things I wish I had done more of before I moved to India.

Then, I had an epiphany…

In England I couldn’t get up at dawn and watch flocks of parrots fly overhead, I couldn’t wear flowers in my hair everyday, I couldn’t sit in the tranquillity of a temple a short walk from home, I couldn’t celebrate colourful festivals or be immersed in a new fascinating culture.

That’s when I started to try to appreciate what was special and unique about where I was. I started smiling at the colours of rangoli, the way saree pleats moved and the smell of monsoon rains. I found comfort and courage in learning and trying to understanding the differences between the culture I grew up with and the culture I plan to grow old with.

The lists of regrets came in useful though. I have been working my way though them during my visits to England, with more happiness and confidence. 

We’ll never be able to live this stage of our lives again, we should appreciate and celebrate what is special and unique about our now. Some days are harder than others. If you are struggling to live in the now, start small, take a deep breath and smile at something you find beautiful.

It helped me so much.

Seize the day, as the say.

***

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About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.


26 thoughts on “How I Learnt to Live Now!

  • stockdalewolfe

    Lauren, Congratulations on accomplishing living in the present. I still haven’t learned but am trying to. Maybe by the time I go to my next life I will have learned. This is a great triumph for you Lauren. With my love, Ellen

  • Tasha

    Nice piece of writing Lauren…the romance of being in the moment to calm the mind. You took me there with your words.

  • Susan

    Beautiful post! So, so true! I struggle with anxiety on a daily basis. It helps when I try to find the beauty in nature and the small joys in life. I have stopped looking to the future and wishing away time. Every day should be appreciated and lived to the fullest. I’m glad you are having a wonderful time in England. Best to you and your family.
    Susan

  • Jo Hannah

    Thank you for this post Lauren, this is exactly what I needed to hear right now. I’m living outside of the UK now too and will be for the next few years and have been feeling quite homesick missing things that I could do in the UK but not here!! But your epiphany is so true, we should be grateful for where we are right now and appreciate the opportunity we have to be part of and experience a new and different culture. This doesn’t mean that missing home is not allowed but we can’t let it consume us!! Thank you x

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you so much, Jo! <3
      You are so right! It's not healthy to repress our feelings. We need to accept them, feel them and then try and live our current situation to it's full potential <3
      Lots of love xx

  • irrakuri

    You even don’t know how much I understand you Lauren…
    India is my home now and I’m very happy here but sometimes longing is so strong, that’s why soon we are going to Poland charge my batteries and show my hubby beautiful of my country <3
    Glad that you found way to appreciate life! 🙂

  • Sree

    Dear Lauren: I love reading your posts. I love the way you are aware of the present moment and take pleasure in the details of life. Many blessings to you and your family. Keep spreading your cheer. Sree

  • Mani (A New Life Wandering)

    Wow. I absolutely LOVED this. This is something that everyone should practice, even those that don’t suffer from chronic depression and/or anxiety. It was very interesting to me when you said that doing things out of your comfort zone reduced the anxiety a bit. You would think it’s the other way around. There can be so many misconceptions that in psychology end up being the opposite for a better outcome. Some things are not obvious.
    Anyway, I do love this perspective. Being grateful for what we have can really help us feel happier in a day to day life. Noticing and being grateful for the little things is more effective than people would think.
    Regret is another terrible thing. I like your approach.
    Great post, Lauren.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you so much, Mani <3!
      Yes, it is really interesting isn't it, but that's how it is (for me anyway).
      I hope you guys are well. Lots of love <3

  • Heloisa Miranda

    I had never commented on your blog posts before, but recently I have read all your posts and most of the things you faced when you firstly moved to India is what I am facing now.
    I am living in India for 6 months, trying to get married with the man of my life, and many things have been very difficult for me, mainly the lack of personal space, which I highly apreciate to have.
    When I read your words I feel peace, you have a way with words, reading about your experience is helping me to go through my own difficults here.
    Thank you so much

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you so much for commenting, Heloisa <3
      It will get easier, especially if you and your husband try to help everyone understand your concept of personal space <3

      Best of luck with your marriage!

      Sending lots of love and hugs <3

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