Sometimes it seems the “present moment” isn’t nearly as juicy as the future of what’s to come — or the drama and memories of yesterday. As I reflect on childhood, I remember moments where I FELT bored — in the present moment. It wasn’t anything close to ecstatic for me!
I suspect this was the beginning of making sure that I was NEVER BORED, and almost never in the present moment. Playing with my siblings, talking to friends or doing schoolwork — all helped me
Reflecting on the past and thinking about the future were effective ways to escape the present moment. But, all that muted the juiciness that’s available in the present moment.
The Importance of Past…
Of course, the PAST has its place. We can learn what worked and didn’t work. We can remember happy moments. We can honor and acknowledge important events like Memorial Day. But, we can also dwell SO much in the past that we’re not available in the here and now.
The Importance of Future…
Being a coach, naturally I’m a big fan of setting goals, strategizing and creating a fabulous future! It’s useful to plan ahead, anticipating needs and desires. Yet… if we’re ALWAYS focusing on the future, sacrificing the here in now… there is SO much we miss out on.
The JUICY & ECSTATIC PRESENT MOMENT…
Can the simple present moment REALLY be juicy and ecstatic? It’s one thing if there is a stunning sunset to gaze at, a splendid fireworks show or a mesmorizing performance of some kind…but what about the regular ‘ol present moment?
After reading Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now years ago… I began giving more and more attention to the experience of “being present.”
At first it seemed “ho-hum.”
And honestly, I wasn’t all that good at it.
But, the more I gave “something” my attention, the fascination built. Otherwise mundane tasks like driving, taking a shower, standing in lines, or emptying the dishwasher became… well, ecstatic!
When we are fully present… it engages the part of us that is always at peace… that place of awareness.
The Present Moment = Inner Peace 🙂
Gratitude is also key to accentuating the present moment. As is, being in your body fully.
It’s kind of like an orgasm. The more surrendered to the pleasure of the moment, and the more “in your body” you are — the more orgasmic it is! (And we all know how distractions and orgasms don’t go together very well.)
If you’d like to have more “When Harry Met Sally Moments,” see what you can experience by getting really, really, really present.
I remember a friend shared how she got really present to an ant walking across the sidewalk. Maybe not what we’d typically think of as a “juicy” moment. But, as she described her full connection to this tiny being — taking in the all the details of that moment, it sure had me wanting to stop, and connect with more ants!
Even if you’re not into ants, there are countless opportunities for you to deepen your ability to be present.
Eating. Notice WHAT you’re putting into your body. It’s color, texture, temperature and aroma. The flavors as you chew each bite. How full you are in any given moment. It does require slowing down a bit, or a lot. I’m almost always the slowest eater at the table. But, food is almost ALWAYS an ecstatic experience. And why miss out on any of that? Try it for yourself.
Driving. I remember the first 7 hour drive from southern to northern California years ago when I decided to be as present as possible that day. It was on my birthday. I noticed the landscape changing. The music playing in my car. The pavement. Cars. Trucks. Trees. Traffic. Open road. Signs. My own thoughts. And, of course, every mile or so — it’s all completely different! I remember how quickly that 7 hours went… and how fulfilling that day was. Others often complain about long road trips, but distraction isn’t the key… being present is.
Pets. This is an area where many people excel at being present, and it’s still a great place to practice deepening presence (as everything is!). Just watching your pet breathe, move, be present with a toy, a sound or scent in the air. Touching your pet, noticing its softness, and how it responds to you. The tail wagging. The motoring purr. Their sighs. Their eyes. SO much to get present with.
A Pregnant Belly. Okay, I know not everyone has one of these nearby. But if you are pregnant — or have ever been pregnant you know how much there is to be present to. Lately, for me, it’s lifting my blouse and watching the ripples magically appear. Feeling the sensation of movement or the tightening of a Braxton Hicks.
The point is, it really doesn’t matter what you give your full attention to… the ticking clock, a loved one, the weather, your breath, a candle or a curious ant. Just give your full attention to something… as often as you can, to build up your ability to be present.
In my book “The Power of Inner Choice” I talk about the importance of NOW Practices… which is the “practice of being present.” You simply take something that you’re doing in your life everyday, anyway, but consciously practice being more present during that activity. What happens over time, is you naturally become more present in more and more areas of your life. I highly recommend reading or re-reading Lesson #1 and committing to 1-2 NOW Practices. If you don’t already have a copy of my book, CLICK HERE or order the Essential Foundations to Inner Peace or the Inner Peace Infusion Bundle. Each offers a way to get a copy of my book into your hands – and more simple tips to master the present moment.
Another JUICY Bonus… of Being Present
I’ve also noticed how rejuvenating it is to rest squarely in the present moment. When it’s nice outside, I often eat lunch on the patio. In addition to being present with my food, I get really present with the sky, the birds, the palm trees, the breeze… and my dog Cruzer who may roll in the grass or demonstrate presence some other way with his nose twitches, ears perk or eyes keenly gaze at a fascinating bug.
Taking just 10-20 minutes outside, allowing yourself to become very, very present can serve you better than a nap!
What are you missing?
Yesterday John commented on how he JUST noticed the stunning array of color outside our kitchen window, the flowers in full bloom! For several weeks now I’ve been delighting in their beauty. But, since John has been working so much lately, he’s missed them! He spends at least as much time in front of that kitchen window, if not MORE, than I do.
If you’re not fully engaged in the present moment at least a good deal of time, you’re likely missing out on LOTS and LOTS of magic moments that could be adding to your inner peace and fulfillment in life.
SOULful Challenge: I invite you to really explore the juicy and ecstatic present moment over the coming weeks. Read or re-read Lesson #1 from “The Power of Inner Choice” and commit to 1 or 2 NOW Practices. I’d love for you to share your thoughts below in the comments.
image source: http://ow.ly/bfUUX