So what does it mean to be present?
I was recently watching a video blog by a motivational speaker about what six things highly successful people know and/or do. One of the main things he discussed was being present. This made me think about what it means to be present and what prevents us from being present moment to moment.
First, what does it mean to be present? In doing research for this blog, I looked up Webster’s definition as well as reading a few other blogs that discussed the importance of being present, but none of them made it clear to me what this idea or concept of being present really meant.
I have studied mindfulness practices for many years and have a clear understanding that my meditation practice is a tool to help me improve on being present. I have had moments, albeit brief, when I felt that the moment was eternal. However, this actually scared me as the moment felt very big and vast and I likened it to falling in a dream, so much so that I quickly brought myself back to a finite sense of the moment.
So let’s get practical. How do we actualize presence in every moment of our lives? I have heard individuals complain that “life it too busy” or they don’t have time for themselves or cannot even think straight. I am well-acquainted with internal dialogue as I have had it myself for many years.
What I know:
When we fight with what is we will never find peace or presence.
What to do?
Get really acquainted with your life. I mean fully acquainted – study it – the ins and outs of what you do and why you do it and be curious. Notice the moments when you slip into wanting something different or arguing internally with what is.
Byron Katie says, “If you want stress, get a future”. My understanding of this is that when we are constantly living in a state of conflict and desiring something different we feel stressed. That doesn’t mean don’t have a plan or a vision, but be willing and able to create a vision and work toward that vision without negating the present.
Learn to ask yourself moment to moment, “How present am I and at what level am I present?”.
In my practice, there are a number of things I see as obstacles or hurdles which get in the way of many people and prevents them from being fully engaged and present in their lives. I have listed a few of them below. However, more will be covered in later blogs.
Judging the future from the past
Health: lack of self care
Judgment about the topic, the situation.
Stuck in one’s head; planning what you’re going to say next
Our story about whatever, whoever and wherever
Anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges
Lack of investment in the moment or the relationship
These are some of the things we work on in therapy and in our coaching session and if you would like to explore this further feel free to contact me to set up a free 30 minute consultation.
Until next time,