Live in the present.
Only the Now is where we can find peace.
Yes, we all hear this and we kinda know there’s some truth in it.
But the actual mechanics of getting there (or getting here, or there is nowhere to get) can be tricky.
First of all we forget, secondly we are positive that whatever is preoccupying us is really important and thirdly we often just don’t know how to be in the present moment.
Well, the great news is there are many ways to bring ourselves back to this moment.
Because this moment is actual very nuanced, very diverse, dynamic we could say. Maybe it can seem boring or dull but even the visceral experience of boring or dull is actually quite complex.
And what is really amazing is that the present moment is always here.
We don’t have to wait for some time in the future to experience the present moment because guess what? There is a present moment happening right now and there always is.
But sometimes we need a way in, a reminder, a pathway to re-align ourselves with the tactile sensations and experiences of this exact time.
So, here are some suggestions of ways we can come home to now, be present with exactly what is and just be here.
Sounds simple? Try it, you might just see that simple is way too limited a word to describe something much more profound.
1. Breath. Just notice the breath. It is always here and always changing. Follow it. Be with it in a wordless state. It won’t let you down.
2. Hands. Bring all your attention to your hands. The sensations. The warmth. The tingles. This is a direct path to Now.
3. The feet. Easier when standing. Great when walking. Powerful when running. Necessary when practicing yoga. They’ll take you deep those feet.
4. Sight. Look but don’t see. Experience everything through your eyes with no judgement, no opinion. Take everything you are seeing in without thinking about any of it.
5. Smell. Get lost in smell. In a pine forest, while cooking, a new-born baby. Let it wash over you as impermanent as it is.
6. Animals. Watch, learn, laugh. In the wild, in your home, at the zoo. Let the animals ability to just do whatever it is doing inspire you to do the same.
7. Babies and children. Get down to come back. Be at their level. Engaged. With no other agenda.
8. Hug. Feel the whole hug. No thoughts about the quality, purpose or meaning of the hug. Just pure sensation of another body being close.
9.Top of the head. Bring all of your attention to the crown. Just notice.
10. Movement. Walking, biking, yoga, driving. Feel the speed. Experience each adjustment to the body to where your it is in space.
11. Air. Against our skin. Around our face. Sense where it touches you, makes contact.
12. Contact. Where do you make contact? The clothes against the body. The butt against the chair. Feel the pressure, feel the connection.
13. Thoughts. Bring all of your attention to the thoughts. Experience them. Don’t be distracted. Only notice the words and images in the mind.
14. Heart. How long can you stay with the sensations in the chest? Not a contest. Just a place to grow.
15. Feelings. Make it big. Grow the feeling so your whole body senses it. Ask the feeling what it needs and then give in and be with the whole sensation.
16. Conversation. Watch the person’s face. Each time an idea of a response comes into your head let it dissolve and come back to just hearing the other person’s words. Respond slowly and consciously being aware of how the words feel as they are expressed.
17. People. Notice people. Notice the folds in their faces. See their humanity. Suspend all ideas of who they are or what they are or what you think about them. Just see them.
18. Cooking. Feel the weight of the knife. See the carrot slice drop from the carrot. Colors, smells, sensations, don’t miss out.
19. Stop. Don’t move. Just stay wherever you are and take it all in. Even for one second.
20. Move slower. We can be present at any speed. But we often aren’t. Just the act of moving slower deepens consciousness and makes all the other above suggestions easier to connect with.
But the most important thing for each us is to find our way in. Our own pathways.
We can try these ways listed and then make up your own and then when the expression be in the present comes our way we will have access to the Now because we’ll have been there before.
Author: Ruth Lera
Editor: Renee Picard
Photo Credit: chattygd at Flickr