Being in the present moment, what does that mean?
I had asked myself this question several times before I understood what it really meant. I had the aha moment that comes around when we have a true realization about something.
I began to ponder the question when I was in school on my way to becoming a yoga instructor. My teacher kept telling me to be present. I looked at her puzzled and said “Okay, I’m here.”
But she continued to tell me this over the upcoming weeks.
Every day I went on with my business whether I was on the mat, driving my car, shopping or cleaning. I thought to myself, “How am I not being present? Isn’t this the present moment?” I was thinking and thinking and then I had the aha moment.
I’m thinking too much.
What my teacher was saying all along was—just show up. Stop thinking and just show up.
It seems as though our minds are programmed to think we always have to have something to do or somewhere to be even when we have reserved that special time to take care of ourselves and relax. We have to train our minds to relax. The more you practice letting go and just being, the easier it will become and eventually it will become a natural part of your life.
The next time I was on the mat I experimented.
I let go of everything: all lists, all worries and troubles. I let all my thoughts go and held my hands in prayer pose. I breathed in and as I exhaled, I sighed the biggest sigh of relief at knowing that I can let it all go whenever I want to.
I felt the lines of energy radiating through my body as the heavy weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders.
This is what my teacher meant. You have to give up the unwillingness to let go of control and everything else that you’re hanging onto to climb to that higher dimension, to bliss. Then and only then will you experience being in the present moment.
At the time I just couldn’t wrap my head around this idea. I always wanted to be in control of everything and struggled with the idea of letting go and at times it’s still a struggle.
But once you let go, you’re free. And if your mind gets crowded again, just know that you can always come back to center and let it all go.
When you start experiencing living in the present moment your view of the world shifts and changes will start to occur. The biggest change for me was being more conscientious of my surroundings. I began going green and focused on eco friendly habits. I changed my diet and started converting to organic foods.
Every day is a new experience that you get to play with and find your space in.
If you’re having trouble getting there, just relax and breathe. It is a good idea to begin your day with Pranayama (breath) and to end it that way as well.
In the morning we welcome new breath and new life force to enter our bodies and recharge us for the day, and in the evening we exhale to let go of the tension from the day and let go of anything that does not honor us.
Today there are endless options of relaxation techniques. These techniques help to cleanse the mind and body to cultivate positive energy and enable us to be more in tuned with our body’s needs. Take a yoga class or go for a massage.
You can even find a place to sit quietly at home and meditate for a few minutes. Experience yourself and love yourself, and, most important, practice living in the present moment.
Quick Guided Meditation
Sit in a simple cross legged position
Relax the face and the neck
Let the arms rest comfortably at your sides or on your knees
Feel the line of energy radiating from your seat going up the spine and out the crown of the head
Focus on the silence
If your attention drifts bring it back to silence.
Do this for five minutes.
Now, whatever thought comes to your mind dance with it and choose to keep it or put it aside.
Do this for five minutes.
Bring your mind back to stillness and slowly open your eyes when you’re ready.
Stefanie DeWysockie is the owner of Taken Back to Nature, LLC, a holistic health practitioner, yoga and prenatal yoga instructor, writer and author. She loves nature and creating; she makes skin care products without harmful chemicals or preservatives and works in her field as a health and fitness counselor. You can follow her at
www.takenbacktonature.com or www.facebook.com/holistichealthnow.
Editor: Lara C.
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