the practice of presence

The Practice of Presence | www.natalie-dressed.com
The other day I was plopped on the couch in the family room one evening with Bailey sleeping next to me and Seth getting ice cream in the kitchen. I was tempted to grab my phone but after being on it all day, I realized there wasn't really anything to check. Instead, I sat there and I noticed the rise and fall of Bailey's breathing and how soft the blanket was that was covering me. I watched Seth and smiled to myself at the way he moves and the little mannerisms he has. I'm not sure why, but I became very present in that brief moment. There was an underlying sense of calm and peace and that everything was just as it should be.

That brief moment of total presence made me realize how often I'm not completely present. I feel like I talk and think about presence a lot and can usually identify when I'm not fully in the moment - which, admittedly, is most of the time. But it's a lot harder for me to become present. I have little glimpses of total presence throughout the day, but they're very brief.

Most of the time, my mind is playing through a list of things I "need to get done." Or if I'm in a situation where waiting is involved, the phone most certainly comes out. Too often, I'm not really paying attention to what's happening in the moment. And too often, I rob myself of the in between moments by unnecessarily being on my phone.

Presence is one of those things that's really simple, but not necessarily easy. We've been conditioned to go, go, go and to "be productive." We have a mentality that the busier you are, the better. I really think we need to balance the busyness and the doing with just being. I think there is immense power in soaking up whatever is surrounding you. I think because of our push, push, push mentality, we often don't see the power that presence can give us.

In the moments I am able to be fully present, everything seems more alive. Worry fades away. Calm replaces it. A very still sense of peace arises around the fact that there is nothing to do or fix. A knowing that everything is just as it should be sits in my gut. Stress dissolves. Life becomes sweeter.

The challenge for me is catching myself and gently bringing myself back to the present moment. Three things that often help me be more fully present:

1. Noticing my breath. It's simple and it's what yoga is all about. Your breath can be a tool for greater presence. By focusing on the inhales and exhales, you bring yourself into the present and aren't able to worry about anything else.

2. Using my senses. Listening to Bailey's footsteps on the wood floor, the birds chirping outside, and the table saw being used in the construction of a house down the street. Expanding my sight line upward and outward to notice more. Feeling the comfort of a blanket or the smoothness of the keyboard keys. Honing in on my senses always help bring me more into the moment.

3. Being in nature. Being near the ocean always makes me more present. Especially if I can just watch it for a while and take it it's magnificence. Any nature will do. Watching it without judgement and feeling its aliveness always make me feel more alive myself.

What do you do to bring yourself back to the present moment?

I hope you all have a very happy and present Wednesday! ;)
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light wash

Light Wash | www.natalie-dressed.com
Light Wash | www.natalie-dressed.com
Light Wash | www.natalie-dressed.com
Light Wash | www.natalie-dressed.com
Light Wash | www.natalie-dressed.com
ASOS top (in red & on sale) | Level 99 jeans | Target heels | Sweet & Spark bracelet (options here) | Britt Bass phone case

Is anyone else excited that light wash denim is becoming popular again? It's perfect for summer and looks great with darker denim, brights, pastels, whites, prints, you name it. It's dark wash denim's low key sister. It has an even more casual and laid back vibe and keeps more dressed up outfits grounded.

Thankfully, there are a ton of different styles out right now so you can grab your favorite style or pick a few to switch out depending on your mood.



P.S. Yesterday, I shared what's in my bag over on the Langford Market blog. Go say hi!