Updated: Oct 13, 2021
Be Present! It is something that gets said a lot and for a while, I had no idea what it actually meant. I mean, when I started hearing that line, the only time I’d heard the word ‘present’ was at school when the roll was being called. And I knew it wasn’t referring to that because my school years were long gone!
So, what does it mean to be present? It essentially means being in the here and now where you are mindful and aware of what is happening for you in the present moment. You are not thinking about what you did or said last week, and you are not worried about what is happening tomorrow, next month or next year. It is about savouring the moment you are in at this very moment in time. You will not get this time back.
I read somewhere that depression lives in the past and anxiety lives in the future, which I believe to be true and the thing is, you can’t change the past, because obviously it has already happened so why focus on it? You also cannot let the future steal your present so all you can do is stay in the now, go with the flow and stay calm. Whatever is going to happen around you going forward is going to happen if it is meant to, whether you try and control it or not so why not let go of the reins a little, focus on being mindful and present and stay in your own lane.
When you are present in the now, you may feel much calmer, happier and more relaxed as you are in tune with your own thoughts, action and emotions giving you more peace of mind. You will be in touch with your intuition a lot more and you won’t be focused on head based fear, doubt and struggle energy, therefore, if you mind is rushing and thoughts are all over the place, you are not present.
What are some ways you can be present?
Stop and give gratitude for and appreciate the good in your life. Even if the only thing you can think of right now is that you were able to wake up and rise up out of bed this morning. Some people were not able to do that, so that in itself is something to be grateful for.
Stand on the grass, barefoot if you can and really feel your feet touching the ground. Notice too, the breeze brushing past you. In your mind’s eye, imagine roots coming out of your feet and going deep into the ground keeping you steady and grounded, like a tree.
Go be in nature. Whether sitting still or going for a walk or ride. Listen to the sounds of the birds or watch the trees as they sway in the breeze.
Listen to your favourite music and sing your heart out as if nobody is listening.
If you are doing household chores, actually verbalise what you are doing (sounds crazy but stay with me here). I am washing the dishes. I am doing the washing. I am vacuuming. It will put you right in the present moment and instead of feeling overworked and under-appreciated, consider for a moment, how blessed are you that you actually have a roof over your head to do seemingly mundane chores in.
While you are doing any of these (or perhaps you have different methods), the biggest gift you can give yourself is to just breathe. Sounds really simple right? Yet we take it for granted every day as we busy ourselves with everything we need to get done. Focus on your breathing, slowing it down and paying attention to the pause in between your inward and outward breath. See how long you can comfortably hold it for. Recognise the absolute steadiness of your breath. Even if you start with 5 minutes per day and build from there, you will begin to notice a shift within you.
Share your experiences in the comments as it may help others in their journey.
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