These thoughts kept me awake last night, which was interesting as they took me away from restful sleep. I couldn’t be present with my sleep and every time I would start to drift off, I was pulled back into thinking about presence…which I was obviously struggling with.
Experiencing this moment.
Being in the now.
There are constant messages of mindful presence. You would “think” it would be so easy, yet it’s something we keep working on. Actually, I don’t know one person who doesn’t get challenged by staying present…
Our minds are super imaginative and are constantly deflecting from the current moment. We struggle to bring ourselves backward from futuristic thoughts or forward from our past thinking and what we would have done differently. Thoughts just happen and, before we know it, we’re off to fantasy land.
I have good news.
I believe the key to being present is to keep it simple (sunshine😊). We overcomplicate it…which our minds love, but our hearts don’t. Here’s a few simple presence steps:
1. Simply notice your thoughts.
When you catch yourself having thoughts about somewhere other than here, thoughts that have you disassociated from the present moment, simply notice them. Noticing them will bring you back to awareness.
2. Simply question the truth of your thoughts.
Your forward-thinking thoughts can have you wrapped up in anxiety about the future. “I’m getting fired.” “She’s breaking up with me.” “I’m going to fail that exam.” Your past-focused thoughts can have you consumed in regret. “I’ll never recover from that mistake.” “I can’t forgive myself for hurting her.”
Are those thoughts true or do they just feel true?
Question them…question everything. The thoughts that you’re having are simply thoughts about another time…a reflection of the past or a worry about the future. A story. A fantasy. The only absolute about them is that they’re your thoughts.
3. Simply notice now.
Exhale and bring yourself back to here. In this moment, are you safe? Are you healthy? Is their air coming in and out of your lungs? Can you feel your heartbeat? Touch your arms and legs? Feel your belly rise and fall with each breath? What do you see? Locate five things in your vision that you didn’t notice before (a bug on the wall, a speck of dirt on your carpet, your dog staring at you like you’re crazy (enough about me😊)).
Finding presence is so elusive with our imaginative and controlling minds.
Yet, doing so will allow your heart to expand to experience your truth, and that my friend, is the key toward living your one-and-only unique and authentic life.
Notice your thoughts as just that, thoughts. Then bring yourself here and experience the presence, the gift, of this moment. Forgive your past and leave those future moments up to the mystery of the universe. They will probably surprise you and be much bigger than your thinking mind can create anyway.