How to Truly Live in the Moment: 5 Spiritual Techniques

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Being able to live in the moment is one of the most important skills we can build to live a joyful life.

It’s especially important right now, when uncertainty is at an all-time high. We don’t know when the pandemic will subside or when life will get back to normal. As a result, it’s all too easy to future-trip and feel anxious about the unknown.

Early in my sobriety, one of the mottos I learned in my recovery group was “One day at a time.” This is a motto that continues to resonate with me and guide my life. In this post, I talk about what it means to me to live in the moment and take life one day at a time.

Letting yourself live in the moment is a relief

When I was first getting sober, “One day at a time” was my mantra. It gave me solace because the idea of never picking up alcohol or drugs again felt overwhelming. I didn’t know how I was going to stay clean and sober. That’s why the concept of staying in the day was such a relief.

Tweet: We can make ‘One day at a time’ our mantra for life — because our presence is our power. @gabbybernstein #spiritjunkie #maycausemiracles

Remembering to take things one day at a time helped me center into the fact that I didn’t have to think about how I was going to handle a friend’s party the next week, or a big function five months away, or the idea of not having a drink at my wedding one day.

All I had to do was keep it in the day. Today was my only concern.

I loved that time. There was so much innocence and peace then because I was able to keep it in the day, focusing on every small, individual action right down to down to brushing my teeth. I stayed in the right now.

It was a really liberating feeling.

When life gets good, we forget to take it one day at a time

After a while of living in the day and being present, I realized that things had gotten pretty good. I got some recovery under my belt and “one day at a time” went right out the window!

Instead of staying in the day, I started future tripping. I was living a month at a time, a year at a time or a project at a time.

Gabby Bernstein in the woods | How to truly live in the momentMany of us can relate to this feeling. We move so fast or get so caught up in our plans and goals that we can’t dwell in the day, much less the moment. Sometimes it seems like the only way we slow down is when tragedy strikes or we hit some kind of bottom.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Living in the moment can be a way of life

Taking things one day at a time doesn’t have to be reserved for when we’re recovering — whether from addiction, loss, trauma or anything else.

We can make “One day at a time” our mantra for life. Because the truth is, our presence is our power. And no matter how magnificent life can be, we still have an ego. The ego is always looking to assert itself; it’s always trying to take us out of the present moment by future tripping or obsessing over the past.

5 ways to live in the moment every day

Let’s all commit to taking things one day at a time, starting right now. Here are some simple practices you can use each day to center into the present.

1. Visualize your day

I honor how I want to feel | The Universe Has Your Back card deck by Gabby BernsteinHere’s one way you can begin: Tomorrow morning, start your day with a vision of how you want the day to unfold. Picture yourself getting on the subway or in your car or on the bus, a smile on your face. Imagine walking into work ready to have a gracious experience and completing your tasks with ease. Imagine greeting your family or friends in the evening.

How do you want to feel? Allow yourself to cultivate the feelings you desire. Dwell in them, knowing it’s safe to feel good.

Hold this vision in the morning and remind yourself to stay in the day throughout the day.

And if a day is too much for you, just keep it in the moment. That can be really profound.

2. Surrender your plans to your inner guide

This is a beautiful practice if you find yourself future tripping or worrying about things that are out of your control. It comes from my book May Cause Miracles.

Begin the day with a surrender prayer. Offer up your plans to the care of your inner guide and state your willingness to listen. Get comfortable in your meditation space and place your palms facing upward — a symbol that you’re willing to receive guidance.

Take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. When you’re ready, read the following passage and then sit for one minute of stillness:

Today I surrender my plans, my will and my fears to the care of my inner guide. I accept that there is a greater plan for me than what my small mind may have had in store. Today I welcome the voice of love to come forward and guide me, teach me, and lead me to a happier state of mind so I can bring more light to the world.

3. Ask for guidance with an affirmation

This is another tip from May Cause Miracles. Use the following affirmation:

Inner guide, I welcome you to show me where to go, what to do and what to say.

State this affirmation throughout the day. Make it your mantra. When you reaffirm your desire to receive guidance and then pay attention, you will be amazed by what comes through!

4. Get grounded anywhere, anytime with a mantra

This is a simple Kundalini practice that you can literally use anywhere, anytime. I love the mantra, which is “Peace begins with me.” You can use this whenever you feel like you’ve been taken out of a peaceful, calm place. Watch below for my guidance:

5. Release judgment all day long

When we say a prayer, we allow our consciousness to receive intuitive guidance | Judgment Detox | Gabby BernsteinAnother powerful affirmation that will help you live in the moment comes from my book Judgment Detox. This is one of the prayers in Step 3:

Today I will judge nothing that occurs.

These seven words are profound. When you say this prayer, you consciously choose to realign your thoughts with love and let the voice of your inner guide lead the way. The more you make this choice, the less you will judge. If judgment, resentment or attack thoughts take you out of the present, repeat this prayer and feel the relief it brings.

You can even set an alarm to go off on your phone throughout the day, labeling it with this prayer. Each time your phone buzzes, recite the prayer silently or out loud and trust that spirit will intervene to restore your thoughts back to love.

Ground yourself in a daily practice with May Cause Miracles

May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle BernsteinIn my book May Cause Miracles, I guide you through a six-week program of adding up subtle shifts for radical change and unlimited happiness!

Each day contains different exercises to help you release fear and invite in spiritual guidance. Exercises like:

  • Empowering affirmations and prayers
  • Guided meditations to ground your intentions
  • Morning and evening reflections to honor your feelings and celebrate your miracles
  • Journaling exercises to let inspiration flow

Check out May Cause Miracles here!

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  1. Dear Gaby, after asking the Universe last Sunday to show me what I needed to see or know, my boyfriend, out of the blue, broke up with me. And allthough he was 20 years younger and had a drugaddiction, he was the sweetest, loving man I have ever met. We had such a deep connection in our music, books, everything was hunky dory . He told me he couldn’t see a future together, he wasnt ready to settle, not now, not in a couple of years. He wanted to be free. That came as a shock. I am so heartbroken. So now, I am scared stiff to surrender to this higher plan of the Universe. (which one? I lost the man I love) and can’t get back to love. The Universe brought me in this state of pain, now, so how can I rely on the Universe? Or is this wrong thinking? I am so sad and scared.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your break-up, Danielle. Sending you love and compassion during this time. Please know that your willingness to practice spiritual surrender did not cause this break-up. I understand where this is coming from, as we often talk about how we manifest our experiences based on our thoughts and feelings, but this rule does not always apply. Sometimes, Danielle, we are presented with lessons that we did not “attract,” but they are intended for us, anyway, to truly learn the meaning of love and forgiveness on a soul level. If it is challenging you for you to have faith right now, I’d like to share a quote with you by the spiritual teacher, Harold Kushner:
      The God I believe in does not send us the problem; the God I believe in sends us the strength to cope with the problem. May you be blessed with the strength to cope with this break-up and may you be guided to all of the support that you need. Here are some additional resources:

      1. Thank you so much for the reply! A couple days later now I realise I haven’t been truly honest to myself. His drugaddiction made me woried sick actually, in what state I would find him this time again. I was scared to say anything because I would lose him. I would lose these warm tender days when he wasn’t doped out. Now I realize I never set MY boundaries. And that is the story of my life. Now I see a lesson you don’t take always comes back at you till you learn it. I am sad and thankful. Thanks for the support, Gaby and team, you truly are angels.

  2. “Today, I will judge nothing that occurs”. Real difficult to do. I work at not judging. I didn’t realize I often I did this. Thank you for guiding me & bringing me into a more positive light towards my life & others. I am purchasing your 2 books, judgement detox & may cause miracles.

    1. You’re welcome, Patricia. So glad this practice resonates with you. It sounds like you’re doing great work. I hope Judgment Detox and May Cause Miracles serve you. xoxo

  3. Interesting how I needed to hear/read something like that. Well… it resonates well with a song that is ‘playing’ in my head (today) – “Feel this moment” 😉

  4. Gabby’s work is so inspirational to be in touch with my spirituality. She truly gives me guidance in being my best self.

    Thank you

  5. Very cool…such fabulous advice..I did all this while driving for Uber and it was amazing. Living the in moment of pure joy…not driving anymore and this is a great reminder for of asking g a d setting an I tention…how fast we forget..I will now do that while home..blessings.

  6. The “Take one day at a time” has always been my moto for life. Suffering from anxiety and depression and some other chronic illnesses, i never know what the next day holds for me… So learning mindfulness and affirmations has helped me through each day. Thank you for knowing i am doing the right thing everyday.

  7. Thank you Gabby! I really needed to say the surrender prayer today. I intend to do it often…

  8. Thank you! Under all this uncertainty and stress, I have learned to stop and breathe a little more! 🙂 You are a blessing!

  9. Hey!
    Thank you for a very rewarding email.
    I have read 2 of your books now and a third is on the way. The book tip that you gave in this email.
    I am so grateful for these books that have helped me a lot. You are an amazing person and very talented.

  10. Thank you for this, Gabby. The unknown is my kryptonite. I’ve spent over 40 years worrying about the future, whether it be the next week or the next 20 years. I’m a planner and like to be prepared, which is impossible when you can’t predict the future. I live in so much fear and anxiety that I rarely enjoy the present moment. The mental exhaustion has taken a great toll on me. It’s such a challenge to change decades of negative thought patterns. I know it takes practice and I have some good days, but they are fleeting. The tips you provide are so helpful and I have to come back to them every time I’m in that icky headspace. Thank you for what you do and know that your work touches so many of us.

  11. Thanks I needed this with having no work, no income and moving onto my 5th month of being inside due to what is going on. I have tried to do the deep breath work but the anxiety builds up and you become a bit of a crazy person. So thanks again needed this.

    1. You are so welcome Theresa! We are so grateful that Gabby’s work continues to encourage and inspire you.

  12. I work as an educator and have become so anxious the last few days thinking about what the fall will look like for myself and my students. The universe knew that I needed this. Thank you, Gabby! Xoxo

  13. Gabby your teachings have carried me through times I didn’t think I would make it through time and time again. I’m truly grateful for you and your team for carrying the light during dark times. ❤

    1. Elizabeth, we are so grateful that Gabby’s work continues to support and uplift you. You are amazing.

  14. I asked the universe last night for help to deal with my anxiety I opened my email this morning and there this is. Ty Gabby! Your words have touched my soul! ❤️ xoxo

  15. I love some of your suggestions for affirmations but how do you use them? Do you say them out loud? Write them down? I get confused with what is an affirmation and what is a prayer? Any advice welcome?

    1. You can say the affirmations out loud, quietly to yourself, write them down, or put them up on a vision board. It might feel good to start by saying them out loud. You can use them as a loving prayer, declaring your intentions out loud. My Spirit Junkie App delivers daily affirmations and inspiration <3

    1. Elated to hear that this work is serving you, Michelle. Keep shining your bright light!

  16. Love this gabby, i always hear exactly what I need in the moment from these e mails, i look forward to them !

  17. Thank you Gabby! I have been following you for several years and every message is timed and received when I need it most. Thank you ♥️

  18. This post is perfect timing for me today. The future holds so many good things which I want to happen now and I’ve been expressing my frustration because I fear things are drifting, even though deep down I know they are not! Expressing this has caused anxiety in someone else. So thank you in particular for reminding me of your great mudra-mantra ‘Peace begins with me’. I need to practice this daily for the next month to help me be in the moment and reconnect with peace. Thank you x

  19. I am so glad I signed up for this, Gabby, how long did it take for you to get over the addiction of alcohol? I am right there wanting so bad to let this go, the hurt inside, just keeps me staying in that mask of feeling it. This today was so profound for me and I am grateful for your transparency for me to grow and heal

  20. This morning, before checking my emails, I made a little video on the topic of Expectations and how when we expect something we are focusing our mindset on the future. Then I found this reminder of staying in the present moment from you in my inbox! Thank you, Gabby for the cosmic synergy today!

  21. Thank you, Gabby for sharing! Inserting the “start to the day” passage to my morning meditation! XOXO, LC @itsthelcworld

  22. So great to see this post on the first day of Ramadan! Today begins the Muslim month of fasting and reflection, when we’re encouraged to slow down and connect with our spiritual side. I love how all these seemingly different spiritual paths ultimately lead us to the core truth of connection and divine inspiration.

    1. This is gorgeous! Thank you for showing up and sharing here. Sending lots of love for a beautiful holiday.

  23. I pulled that card just the other day! This message is divine timing. Thank you Gabby:)

  24. Gabby
    You have heard it all before, how you have changed lives. I admire your strength and creativeness in your words. You have signed your books for me when I saw and heard you speak in person. You are making a difference. God always guide you……

  25. Thank you. I’m going to really try. My position at work has been declared redundant. I need to apply to other areas as I have enough seniority but I don’t know if this is where I’m supposed to be any more.


    1. Your path will unfold before you when you surrender to the guidance that is available to you. Use the affirmation, “I am open to creative possibilities for my career” (or another one that resonates with you) as a prayer that you turn to on your career path. This affirmation helps you stay open to divine guidance and stretch beyond limiting beliefs. Lots of love and light to you, Susan. xoxo

  26. Wonderful to read and a great reminder. Helps me to see how I can kick bad habits out – one day at a time instead of feeling overwhelmed.

  27. Gabby , your writing is really simple and easy to implement .
    Thanks to your words , pictures and art in the newsletter , I really look forward and cherish and appreciate your newsletters .

  28. Gabby, the universe called me to you today. I had a really hard day with depression yesterday. The past 2 weeks I’ve had enough, and I have wandered aimlessly to figure out how I can overcome. Late last night I stumbled on your Creative Live interview, and down the rabbit hole I fell. Today is the last day for the enrollment for your membership with the bonus, and I signed up. I was called to hear your message and I am so excited and hopeful that I can stand up and accept that depression is not my fate. I can’t wait to start my journey. Thank you!!!!!!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story with my Sarah! I’m so so happy that my work found you when you needed it and that you joined the MM. I know that the community will be a huge support for you 🙂 xo BIG love to you!

  29. Dearest Gabby…. This is a big part of my work… This past Monday, Halloween, was, as my son refers to it, my 2 year “canerversary” ! 2 years since my doctor told me I have cancer… I’m feeling great and still on my cancer journey…. Taking care of myself physically and doing a lot of spiritual work, soul searching/reflection…. I call myself a recovering workaholic which touches so many aspects of my life…. So one day at a time works on so many levels. You have been a true inspiration to me… Thank you so much for sharing from your heart…. Namaste , Marci

  30. I had the most horrible day and watching this really hit me! It helped me remind me that I have tomorrow and I can just focus on that ONE day. Thank you SO much. Really needed it.

    Much Love

  31. If there were ever a day I needed this, today is the day! I think a lot of people (besides me) woke up today (the day after Halloween) with that familiar candy hangover; that gross feeling in our bodies and depressed state of mind. I know I did. I guess I shouldn’t speak for others but I’m pretty confident that I’m not alone in this one. This Vlog definitely helped me. I’ve always said there are weeks we live a day at a time and days we live one moment at the time. Today is the latter for me.

  32. Gabby you are the best. It’s instant peace when I listen to your videos. Thanks for being such a great teacher and source of inspiration. ❤️

  33. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed about my projects lately up to the point that I find it hard to be meditate. Thank you for this reminder gabby.

  34. I needed this, too. So timely. Can I ask a question? What is the phrase you used at the very end of the video? I’m guessing it’s something like “Namaste” at the end of a yoga class, but I didn’t quite catch it. I like it. 🙂

  35. Exactly what I needed. 🙂 I am taking an 8-week Mindfulness course. This reminder of day-to-day or even hour to hour is why I am taking that course. Thank you!

  36. Small steps can make a huge difference, breath by breath, moment by moment, and one day at a time.Thank you for this.
    Your work helps me.Thanks

  37. Love and needed this Gabby! I love that the little wisdoms and stories you give about your recovery can aid me with my own recovery from my eating disorder. One day at a time!! Sometimes five little motivating words are all I need 🙂

  38. Thank you Gabby
    It did serve me, perfectly! Exactly what I needed to hear and move forward with today!
    Just TODAY

  39. Thank you Gabby for your wise words. It always seems to be appropriate to think one day at a time when life gets tough but we then forget the practice. Thank you for the reminder and for expessing it so well. This is a video to keep and to shate

  40. Thank you for this reminder lovely. I often get anxious thinking about the future, rather than staying in the present moment. The Power of Now is one of my all-time favorite books that reminds me to do this. Thank you for sharing your own experience to inspire staying in the moment! Xo

  41. Gabby,
    Congrats on the book- hope you’re relishing in the moment and your spot in the world today! Love this video and as a health coach (and IIN grad!) I constantly talk about this concept with my clients. It’s part of my Stay True to the Present Moment session and is essential for happiness. As a busy mom with a crazy and amazing 3 year old, I have to consciously tell myself to do this every day with her. And me! To enjoy her, not look too far ahead. To enjoy my day and what I’m feeling and doing at this very moment, not what may or may not happen a week from now. Tony Robbins speaks a lot about those crazy “What Ifs” that may never happen. And what it can create- how it will stop us from growing and making some pretty amazing decisions. What we are witnessing and paying attention to TODAY will allow us to make the best decisions for our life. When we are always looking forward, we can never live a life we are meant to live. The life that we deserve. Great post and video. Got your book and can’t wait to read it!!!


  42. Your comments were for me today so profoundly it shook me to my core. Saturday was my last drink. Thank you for yours words. Keep me in your prayers you are in mine. My life I now see has a thread of hope I am committed with assistance from God to make that into a rope for myself and greater good of all.

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