One of the most profound things that initiated me onto my healing journey is the awareness of the present moment.
It has become an important aspect of my quality of life.
Many of us, without realizing it, are either focused on the past or future at any given moment.
How often are you trying to hurry and get to the next thing or ruminating about what happened in the past?
It’s like the present moment is constantly escaping us, which is actually quite sad because..
The present moment is all that is real.
When I was first introduced to this idea my mind instantly wanted to argue.
“What? That makes no sense. OBVIOUSLY the past exists too, I remember!”
Not to mention, that I felt like it was dismissive of all of my past pain and trauma.
How dare anyone try to take that away from me or sweep things that happened to me under the rug?
But that was my ego. Defensive and afraid to lose its relevance.
Then I sat with this idea for a while because although it made no sense at the time, it intrigued me.
The present moment is all that is real.
Eventually, it started to click:
Yes, the past happened..
In a present moment.
The past happened in a present moment that has now passed and is no more.
In this “now” moment it is only “real” as a thought.
The future is also just a thought.
It may happen, but only in a present moment.
Realizing this truth was so enlightening for me.
It showed me how much of my life I was missing or taking for granted due to constant dwelling on the past or hoping for the future.
I didn’t want to live my life that way.
So I decided to make being present a sort of game in my life.
Below I will share some cues I use in my everyday life that help me remember to stay in the moment.
Waiting in Line
Waiting in line is one of those things that most of us really don’t enjoy.
We want to get what we came to do, done and be done with it.
But why are we in a rush?
If you really think about it, all we’re trying to do is rush to do something else, then something else after that.
It’s never ending.
Have you ever thought about simply being where you are fully, enjoying as much as possible?
Having to wait in line has become my cue to get really present with the moment.
Instead of burying my face in my phone or being in my head about how long I’ve been waiting or how badly I need to get home to make dinner, I strike a conversation with the person in front or behind me or look around and do a little observing.
In doing so, I’ve found that waiting in line actually isn’t so bad.
When Someone is Speaking to Me
Most of us aren’t very good listeners.
We are listening to respond instead of listening to understand or to simply hold space.
That is because a lot of the time, in conversation, we tend not to be in the moment.
In our minds, we are already nervously formulating our response which means we are focused in the past/future.
It’s like we’re afraid of the pause that may happen after someone is finished speaking.
We’re afraid that it will be weird and awkward if we aren’t responding right away.
In truth, this habit is lowering the quality of our connections.
There is vulnerability, trust, openness, and attention in that pause; things all of our relationships could benefit from.
But instead of allowing the natural flow of an honest, attentive conversation, we are constantly thinking and planning.
When someone is speaking to me, I let that be a cue to practice being present with them.
I quiet my mind and pay attention to every word they are saying.
I watch their movements, mannerisms etc.
When they’re finished speaking, I try to allow what they’ve said to soak in for a few seconds before even formulating a response.
At a Red Light or Riding in the Car
Am I the only one that knows how to drive so well that I don’t even have to be there to do it?
I can admit that there are times, especially after having driven the same route for a while, that I get to my destination and am amazed.
In essence, I drove on autopilot.
My awareness was not present for the experience.
Because of this, I’ve made it my practice to make driving, riding or even sitting at a red light a presence cue.
I’ve noticed that while sitting at a red light, the urge is to grab my phone, so I don’t.
I use it as an opportunity to be aware of how I’m feeling in my body at that moment.
It’s taught me that even something as mundane as a car ride if important to me.
When I Wake up in The Morning
Sometimes when we wake up in the morning our minds flood in with thoughts about what we need to do that day, what happened yesterday etc.
For me, the morning is when my mind is most clear, so I milk it.
I like to take a few minutes in the morning to just be.
Before I jump out of bed, grab my phone or start making mental plans, I stare out into the abyss and just be human.
I recognize what it feels like to be in a body.
I take deep energizing breaths.
I don’t identify with anything just yet.
I allow myself to be present, alive, and renewed.
Waiting at the Doctor’s Office
I think many can relate when I say I’ve always strongly disliked waiting at the doctor’s office.
It’s the fact that I have an appointment for me.
Like why am I waiting so long if I have an appointment???
Perfect time to practice presence!
I’ve begun to use this experience as a cue to be present and I’ve noticed a lot less wait time at the doctor’s office these days.
Could this practice be making me more patient and tolerant?
Although I have noticed that being present has helped me enjoy the simple things much more, it’s not necessarily about enjoying everything.
It’s about being with whatever is.
The idea is to not let everything I do, even the mundane, only be a means to an end or to get to the next thing .
We are always doing something and as long as we’re alive, we always will be doing something so there is no sense in obsessing, dwelling and ruminating.
It’s just another thing.
Practicing presence has amped up my quality of life because it has allowed me to see more moments as special, sacred, and even just okay.
I’ve found that when I’m really present in the moment, I enjoy things much more.
I enjoy things that I may not have enjoyed.
I am more accepting of life as it unfolds in front of me.
I am feeling more well and alive.
I am experiencing more peace.
*If you are looking for more peace and presence in your life, book a healing session with me soon.
Let’s kickstart your healing journey this year, together.