Presence v. Presents

Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift. — Oprah Winfrey


How many of you are feeling the frenzy of the holiday season like I am? Being an action oriented person, I easily fall into the perpetual trap each year of to-do lists, always adding new things, and can become “unconscious” to the rest of the world around me. How many people did I encounter today where I barely noticed what was said? Did I even look them in the eye when I was speaking to them? Or was I remembering the other 25 things I have to do today? How many times did I check my phone for email and texts while I should have been “present” with where I was at that moment? What did I miss? What did I fail to notice?

My other extreme is my “crash” at the end of the day…watching mindless TV rather than taking the time to reflect…to write…to re-energiize my body, mind and soul. With everything happening in my own life at the moment, and especially since it’s the holiday season, I find that it’s more difficult than usual to remember how powerful it can be to just be still for at least a few moments. My mind and body go back to old habits, and off I go on auto-pilot to tackle the day or prepare for the next. Does this sound familiar to you??

Here is a quick and easy technique that I learned that may help to you “wake up” during the frenzy of your day. It’s something you can do when you realize you are on auto-pilot or if you have crashed, and you want to be present to what is right in front of you – to be able to be “in the moment” with ALL of yourself. This is something you can do in as little as a minute…and/or it is something you can practice to incorporate into your way of being. Take a quick inventory of your senses:

  • What do you see? What is right in front of you, and what do you notice about it?
  • What do you hear? Really pay attention to the sounds no matter how slight.
  • What do you feel? Be mindful of the temperature, and the texture of what you are touching.
  • What do you taste?
  • What do you smell?

When you are aware of all 5 of your senses, you are truly present in the moment. If you have trouble, just watch a toddler because children are excellent at being present in the moment! The challenge now is how to stay present – or how to regain presence once it’s lost. Try this technique to help, and let me know how it works for you!

The meeting of two eternities, the past and future….is precisely the present moment. — Henry David Thoreau


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