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! ;)