September 29, 2015
Do your days fly by? The older I get the faster they go. I’m not sure I can slow them down nor would I want to. Being busy and involved is when I am the happiest. However, there is something to be said for being present in the present.
There is present as in here, in attendance. And there is present, as in now, a moment of time. Religions from around the world all recommend living in the moment with full awareness – making the most of every day as an opportunity that will not come to us again. The contrasts to being present are living in the past and living in the future. When we live in the past, we hold on to regrets, which leads to guilt and blaming. Living in the future we make assumptions or fantasize about what could happen and become attached to those expected outcomes leading to disappointment. Whether we are consumed with positive or negative projections we are not living in the moment. When you find yourself always wanting to be otherwise or elsewhere, it is time to be present. Contentment is the companion to this practice.
Okay – so how do we do it – how do we get into the present? When I have my first cup of coffee, water or milk in the morning, I use that as my cue to be here now. Sitting at my computer I gaze out my office windows at the beauty of nature around me I remind myself of the joy of simply being present to my surroundings. Whenever I experience or witness sickness, I vow to appreciate every moment of my life.
Psychology Today writer Michael J. Formica tells us that to be in the present means staying here – right here. He gives us a few simple steps to follow to help us get there:
- Take a Breath – and release it slowly through the nose
- Think about what you are doing right now – breathing
- Be a witness – become aware of what exactly you are doing right now
- Let the rest go – what you do not need in that moment don’t take on board
- Come back to breath
I guess I can try that a few times a day. How about you?
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh