Are you where you want to be?
Are you choosing to be here, present in this moment?
There are so many of us living somewhere else—reading newspapers, surfing the internet, playing on mobile phones, engaging in conversations, but never really being here.
Afraid of the film that is our actual life, we leave the main actor on-screen and shadily sneak out, eating popcorn and ice cream, pretending to have a lot of fun.
We distract ourselves with useless, time-filling activities and engage in all kinds of behaviors that we think people expect us to oblige to. We betray the main actor and let him act the whole play out all on his own.
By not being present, we betray our own life, our own enjoyment, our own path, our own destiny and our own happiness.
After some years and some tragic, melodramatic events further down the road, the soul begins to scream and scream and scream at us.
We finally ask ourselves: “How did I end up here? Is this really what I wanted? Why have you forsaken me, God?“
Let me tell you: You have forsaken yourself.
Are you a body who stays here but your mind is always somewhere else?
We inherently know that we are powerful beings. We would know that we have the ability to change ourselves, change our surroundings, and even more frightening is that we have the power to create. Because when we allow ourselves to feel, we can actively generate new feelings, new jobs, new relationships, new lovers, new houses and new friends.
But sometimes the acknowledgement of our capabilities is not enough because we are afraid of change.
So we choose to not be present. We urge and squeeze ourselves into nothingness. We think that is what it means to be physically aware but we are oh so not aware. Is it the pain that drives us to hide out? No. We can endure pain for weeks, for months, for years…
We tell ourselves I’ll wait for the weekend, or for when holiday season comes. When she changes or he understands. When I change my job or I’ve got the money. When I find the right circumstances. When I get a little bit more rest…
…But we end up waiting forever.
Are you done with waiting?
Here are my tips for becoming more present in daily life:
- Experience opposites, like being in solitude before being with people.
- Listen quietly before speaking.
- Close your eyes, when you can (not while driving!). Go within and ban the external noise and visuals for a moment.
- Journal often. Having free-writing pages really does create miracles.
- Create daily tech-free zones or hours (no tv, no mobile phone, no social media)
- Do what you love. Spend time doing anything that brings you closer to yourself. For some people, it is being in nature, others exercise in their favorite sport. Do anything that gets you into the flow of doing and just being present.
- Concentrate on intention. Before engaging with others in meetings and conversations, setting an intention helps keep focus. For example: “I will lead this conversation with the intent to really understand my colleague“ or “My intent is to stay true to myself“.
- Finally, if you are still struggling with how to become present, watch children and learn from them how to be present.
What you can expect from being more present:
- You will feel more alive.
- You will have clarity, recognizing when to establish boundaries, as well as which situations/people are elevating you and which are draining your energy.
- You will feel everything deeper, more joy but also more pain.
- You are more interactive with others, as you are more present in listening, speaking and feeling.
- You are more receptive and open to the energies of others, and they will open up to you more.
- You are giving to your community in more juicy and heartfelt ways you were not aware of before being actively present.
Be present with yourself. Be present with love.
It’s nothing difficult. There is nothing to learn. Just be you—how you always were, how you will always be.
Author: Christine Schwarzer
Apprentice Editor: Tammy Novak / Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Image: Kenneth Lu/Flickr