Years ago, I had the benefit of having an awesome nature trail at my back door. As I walked this trail, I began to notice the snap and crackle of the leaves underneath my feet, the sweet song of the birds overhead and though I was close to a fairly busy interstate, I could not hear the back and forth of vehicles. The best part was in that moment, there was no noise in my head. All the chatter that normally goes on in my mind like what I need to do next, where am I supposed to be at 3pm, what time is my dentist appointment next week, etc. I was amazed, it was great.
I didn’t think you could be in such a serene place in the middle of the city and be able to take in every sound as well as the stillness. I was so excited about being in the Now (enjoying the present moment) and having that experience that I wanted to call somebody to share it and that was the end of the moment. I quickly realized that I had moved on from the moment and resolved to get back to my purpose of time with myself and being present and all was well.
The power of being in the NOW is the clarity, insight, peace and connection that you feel when you are there. It’s been there all along, under all that thinking about “what to do” that we tend to do. You’ll be able to see the difference between: here’s the situation and here is what my mind is saying about the situation, or, in other words between: The situation “I might lose my job” and what my mind is saying about the situation “I might lose my job, which will mean I’ll lose my house and have to take my daughter out of her school and move in with my parents, so I have to get another job by the end of the week, even if there are no jobs and I’m not skilled enough to get one.” See the difference.
For many of us we have either been trained or trained ourselves to always stay one step ahead planning for tomorrow, next week or 5 to 10 years from now, so awareness of the present moment takes some intentionality to make happen.
A simple exercise in being present or in the NOW would be sitting still and taking notice of your breath. Following it as it goes in through your nose and out through your mouth. Notice how your chest expands and contracts as you breathe in and out. Take long deep breathes in and out. Do this several times and just focus on your breath. This is one experience of being in the NOW.
Practice it as often as you can and watch how it changes your perspective on life.
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