Be Present!

Enjoy the moment! Ever heard that line before (insert eye roll)? Of course you have, we all have. But what does it really mean? It means to Be Present! The past is just that; it’s passed. It happened; it’s over. The future is yet to occur and unknown. And there is no amount of worry that will bring it sooner. The present however is the only thing to concern yourself with. It’s all you have – it’s now. Your life is happening now. Don’t let it pass you by and become the past or worry it won’t come.

Becoming present takes practice and the world we live in makes impossible to be present 24 hours/day. Afterall, I bet you have a looming deadline on your plate right now that requires some sort of advanced planning or maybe an appointment on the calendar that being late for is nonnegotiable. But remaining in the present moment for as much as your life allows will bring peace that you didn’t even know you needed. 

The next time your mind starts to wonder on something that happened last week or last year or maybe to something planned for the upcoming weekend, stop that thought and bring yourself back to the here and now; the present moment. Allow the thoughts to drift in and out just as white clouds float along the bright, blue sky. Don’t judge yourself or your thoughts, just recognize it as not happening now and bring your attention back to what is occurring in that moment. To do this, simply feel the chair that cute butt is resting upon or really taste that sip of coffee as your read this post.  An easy trick I learned a couple years ago is to engage yourself enough in the moment of washing your hands to smell the aroma of the soap. Yet another little trick is when you find your mind beginning to wonder while driving, bring your focus to how the leather of your steering wheel feels on the palms of your hands. Is it smooth, does it have stitching, are there maybe grip marks because you are so lost in thought that you are holding on for dear life?? I know what you are thinking, how can these bring peace. Trust me, I once felt the same, but they work. And they work every time! They bring you back to the here and now and help you not ponder the past or stress of the future.  It really can be as simple as washing your hands (something we all do a hundred times/day) to give yourself a little mental escape.

Yes, meditation is the practice for presence and I love meditation, but the point I am trying to make is that the feeling you gain from meditation can also be found throughout your entire day if you take the mind out of it and enjoy each thing as you are doing it. There is nothing to learn, it’s just being present enough to turn off your mind long enough to feel, taste, smell, etc. what is going on around you in that given moment. Really enjoy the moment!

There is a beautiful world that surrounds you at any given moment and being present enough to observe it will diminish all stress or worry related to the past or future. Instead, you will experience bliss and gratitude for the here and now.