Be present. We hear this term everywhere it seems, but what does it mean to “be present”? Why is it so important?
Being present seems like a simple concept. We are physically present wherever we stand. But we’re talking about being mentally and emotionally in the here and now. That’s a little trickier for most of us.
Humans spend a vast amount of our time reflecting on the past or wondering about the future. If we’re reveling in a wonderful memory, or excited about an upcoming occasion, then that tiny bit of time travel is beneficial, lifts our spirits, raises our vibration, and attracts MORE of the same kind of energy to us.
However, most of the time when we focus on the past, we focus on memories that bring guilt, regret, shame, or embarrassment. And often when we focus on our future, it’s the unknown we focus on which brings emotions like worry, anxiety, or doubt, which benefit no one. It drains our energy, lowers our vibration, and attracts MORE of the same kind of energy to us!
When we are focused fully in the present moment, we cannot simultaneously experience guilt, regret, shame, embarrassment, worry, anxiety, or doubt. Since all of these emotions are energy drains, it stands to reason that we have more energy when we are fully present. The gifts of being present are absence of negative emotions, and having more energy to spend on what’s important to you.
Now is powerful.
We cannot take action from the past, nor from the future. The only place we have to act is now. Clients often tell me they can’t seem to get anything done, but they come to realize that they are often not being present, and are therefore unavailable to take action. We lose a lot of time being in the past or future, instead of taking action in our powerful NOW.
So, how do we be here now?
Here’s a simple exercise that can easily guide you to the present moment when you find yourself wandering in time.
Take a deep cleansing breath. (Hell, take two or three, they’re FREE!)
One at a time, take stock of your five basic senses.
Sitting quietly, note just one or two things that you can sense with each.
Here are my examples for this moment in time:
Smell – I smell jasmine flowers and coffee.
Taste – I taste toothpaste.
Touch – I feel the chair beneath me, and the floor under my feet.
Hearing – I hear a clock ticking.
Sight – I see sunlight streaming in the window, and the dog lying in the sun.
Notice how the exercise immediately brings you into the now.
Whenever you catch yourself in your head living from the past or into the future in a way that is not beneficial, you can instantly improve how you feel by checking in with your five senses and being present in the moment.
How often are you in the present moment?
What have you been missing while not being present?
What will change for you when you are more present?
What difference do you notice in your tension/stress levels before and after the above exercise?