Mnemonic Acronyms To Help You Remember To Stay Present (M.A.T.H.Y.R.T.S.P)
In today’s busy world, there’s nothing like mnemonic acronyms to remind you to be well-centered and spiritually present.
Is fear holding you back? Are you so focused on where you want to go that you can’t remember where you put your keys? Are you so worried about whether you will ever find your tribe that you don’t even have time to question whether 100% of your beauty products are free of polychlorinated biphenols, dioxins, and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenols?
If so, you might have a problem staying present. You know what you need?
As anyone who has ever taken a beginner yoga class knows, being present is the most important thing in the world. The only exceptions to this are that (1) strictly speaking there is actually no such thing as the present, (2) you literally have to think about what’s going to happen in the immediate future in order to survive, and (3) your entire consciousness is made out of memories from the past.
It can be hard to stay in the present moment in today’s fast-paced world of retirement funds, cryptocurrencies, and credit card bills that have, like, a current balance, minimum payment, and somehow also some kind of “statement” that refers to, like, I guess, some other, different month’s things you bought? And it’s like, I have to pay the whole balance on the statement to avoid paying interest, so what the fuck does the “minimum payment” even refer to at all?
So unless the yogi in front of you in class has a cute enough butt to anchor you in the Present, or you are fortunate enough to cross paths with a coyote, then you’re probably in need of a little help. Mnemonic acronyms are one of the greatest ancients practices for centering your consciousness. I’ve put together six of my personal favorites, so when you’re feeling particularly out of the Now, or actually if you are even at all aware of feeling something, instead of just feeling that way, remember M.A.T.H.Y.R.T.S.P.: Mnemonic Acronyms To Help You Remember To Stay Present, and you’ll rocket back into the present in no time!
(1) Avoid Simulating Scenarios Mentally About the Non-present (ASSMAN)
It happens to us all. You’re out of cat food. You were supposed to order it on Amazon, but you forgot. You could stop after work before your wife gets home, but you were looking forward to that half-hour of precious alone time to play Civilization VI, which even though you knew going in is inferior to several of the franchise’s previous installments, you really want to give a thorough shot at it and play through more than just that first obligatory run as the Romans. If you don’t get the cat food, your wife won’t fuck you, but what if you ordered the cat food with free two-day shipping, blamed the problem on Amazon, and still had time to sneak in a few turns of Civ VI to see if your siege on Porto Alegre is going to pan out?
Stop. Just… Stop.
First of all, appease your cat or the cat will shit in your sneakers and piss on your bed. Second of all, don’t lie to your wife. She will know. She has access to the Amazon account too, you moron. And finally, remember to A.S.S.M.A.N.! That’s right, when you are envisioning future events that may or may not play out, just A.S.S.M.A.N.: avoid simulating scenarios mentally about the non-present. There, don’t mnemonic acronyms make everything feel better? Now use your new-found mental clarity to remember what brand of cat food is the only one that won’t make your cat vomit in your laundry.
(2) Do One Thing, Not A Lot Of Things (DOTNALOT)
Most of our busy lives push us to do several things at once. The next thing you know, you’re carrying on a conversation with a co-worker while you’re trying to figure out what’s in gluten-free cat food. That’s why there’s D.O.T.N.A.L.O..T: Do One Thing, Not A Lot Of Things. The beauty of D.O.T.N.A.L.O.T. is that it kind of looks like you mistyped “Don’t a lot.” So it reminds you to don’t (do) a lot. Instead, do just a little. In fact, do (just) one thing. It’s easy to fall into the modern trap of multi-tasking, but you can free yourself of that mental cage by simply remembering to D.O.T.N.A.L.O.T.
(3) Talk To Yourself Constantly Regarding Your Current Activity (TTYCRYCA)
Picture yourself in your busy day, doing some busy business task, like making coffee. In this vision, you’re probably thinking simultaneously about something besides making coffee, right? It’s kind of like in that show FlashForward, which didn’t make any sense because if the flash-forwards all happened in a future where everyone had previously had a vision of the future, then how come in those visions nobody was aware that they were now literally living the vision they’d already had?
The point is that the premise of FlashForward was flawed, but if you want to stay anchored in the present moment, just remember to T.T.Y.C.R.Y.C.A.: Talk To Yourself Constantly Regarding Your Current Activity. The next time you are making coffee, say out loud, “I am making coffee.” Probably don’t say it loud enough for someone to hear you and ask you if you’re fucking crazy. Actually, nothing ties you to the present like a fistfight, so you could also give that a try.
(4) Chastise Yourself When Your Thoughts Drift Into The Past Or Future (CYWYTDITPOF)
This one is a little more advanced, and, admittedly, C.Y.W.Y.T.D.I.T.P.O.F. is not the easiest of mnemonic acronyms to remember. And, remember, remembering is itself an obstacle to being in the present. But if you are feeling up for a challenge, remember to C.Y.W.Y.T.D.I.T.P.O.F.: Chastise Yourself When Your Thoughts Drift Into The Past Or Future. It’s a great way to punish the bad mental behavior that took you out of the present moment in the first place. I mean, it takes you out… I guess technically I mean it will take you out… or rather, could take you out of the… C.Y.W.Y.T.D.I.T.P.O.F.!
(5) Let Go Of The Idea That Happiness Will Come To You In The Future (LETGO)
Okay, so I cheated on this one. Coming up with acronyms is fucking hard. But L.E.T.G.O. gets the job done fine, reminding you to just abandon altogether the hope that there is happiness waiting for you literally anywhere in the future. There is not. Life is suffering. You probably don’t even have a cat or a wife.
You’re just lying to yourself.
You are never going to get a wife, and your landlord will not let you have a cat. And here’s the real kicker: even if all of this changes and you get the thing you’ve always dreamed of that you think will make you happy – the big house, the dream job, the respect of your friends, several beautiful girlfriends at once – none of those things will bring you happiness, because life is suffering and the best you can do is to choose between different kinds of suffering. So L.E.T.G.O.!
(6) If All Else Fails, Remove Unneeded Possessions (IAEFRUP)
Now, I know I.A.E.F.R.U.P. kind of sounds like you are very drunk and trying to say, “I give up!” which would only be good if the thing you were surrendering to happened to be the present moment. Otherwise, it’s just a last ditch failsafe for handcuffing your consciousness to the radiator of the Present: If All Else Fails, Remove Unneeded Possessions. Honestly, I don’t really understand what material possessions have to do with staying present, but a bunch of blogs made a big deal about it so… I guess give it a try? Or head on over to the Bunny Ears Shop and just go nuts.
Mnemonic acronyms! So easy! Now stop reading this article, because reading by definition takes you out of the present moment of your own reality by pointing your consciousness at an imaginary one.
Good luck remembering these mnemonic acronyms, and namaste!
Katie Goldin’s Golden Rules
Weekly comics from the mind of Bunny Ears writer Katie Goldin. They're weird, they're funny, and they're always so pretty! The Goldin Rules…