Here we find ourselves in the third and final blog where I’ve been writing about our ability to dwell in depression that is our pasts or float in an anxious sea that is our future. Today I am writing about what I feel it means to live in the present.
To look outside your bedroom window and see the trees embracing a breeze and in this moment to truly allow yourself to be with those trees absorbing the air around them. It is all too easy and common for us to let our thoughts drift anywhere but where we are holding our gaze at that very moment in time, the present.
Can you recall a time recently where you were 100% focusing on an object or person and living in that moment? Not thinking about what you said to the first person you saw that morning or thinking about what you need to do after picking up the kids from school. But giving your undivided attention to that moment and letting time just, exist. Without any judgement of where you are and why. To know that you are right there, alive and experiencing a moment that will never come to pass again.
It’s wondrous to live in a moment and be present with whatever it is your gaze is fixed upon. Whatever it might be you are touching or holding. Whatever the smell or taste you are experiencing. But whatever it is you are choosing to be present with, embrace it entirely.
Walk the walk
I’ve discussed mindful breathing a few times in my blogs now and will not delve any deeper than the surface for today. But one technique you can employ to stay in the present is to practice your mindful breathing, or meditation. Use this technique to bring yourself back to you. To slow down and bring stillness to your constantly rampant life.
I’ve found that if I go several days without sitting myself down and practicing mindful breathing I can start to have less than desirable reactions to other people. I can be more agitated, unfocused and start to time travel exponentially.
But, like most things in life, there are multiple ways to get through an obstacle. Another technique I’ve used for a very long time now (and to be mindful during it) is walking! Yes I believe you all know this one! For such a long time I used to walk if I wasn’t running, to get away from my thoughts. But I was in fact throwing fuel on the fire that was my mind. I would ramp up my thoughts the faster I ran or walked and found by the end of the exercise I would feel better physically, but more tired mentally and emotionally. I’d spend all my energy on time travelling here, there and everywhere!
So now when I walk I will always allow at least a certain amount of time dedicated to living in the present. I will do this in multiple ways by;
- Stopping to pick up or touch and object. Feel it and be with the object in that moment.
- Look to the hills and say a gratitude in my head. (sometimes I’ll use an expletive out loud if the day is really up my alley!) But embrace the beauty that a lot of days produce for us, rain, hail or shine!
- Stopping and closing my eyes for a few very deep breaths before continuing on.
- Or simply stopping to admire a 180-360 degree view of my surroundings and again, practice a gratitude or 2.
So get out there and walk the walk! Whether you just step outside your house and hit the pavement or you get yourself to a nice hiking destination. Get yourself outside and be in the moment as much as you can.
Be present with your interlocutor
I’ve found over the years that the more stimulating a conversation, The more likely you are to hold onto those moments. You absolutely hang off the other persons words and converse accordingly. To really listen to the other person and reply to them as the naturality of your thoughts fall out of your mouth and into your interlocutors ears is a beautiful experience. This is more desirable as opposed to only partially listening to someone but holding your question in the back of your mind waiting for the interlocutor to finish what they are saying so you can disregard them and throw your waited question in their face.
My point being that one of these conversational scenarios is living in the present, the other, time travelling.
It’s hard to find yourself in a truly immersing conversation where you and the interlocutor are hanging off each others sentences. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t try to live off the words of other day to day conversations! Try it the next time you are at work. Try to really immerse yourself in a basic conversation and see if you can’t find that difference between waiting to say your thing and actually reacting to the interlocutors comment! Reacting in a conversation comes across much more genuine than to fire prepared lines straight back at people!
I do hope that over the last 3 blogs you have found some use for trying to find yourself living in the now a little more often. The next time you look your partner in the eyes, look INTO their eyes, SEE the iris for what colour it is. Hold their gaze for a few moments longer than you would usually, embrace their presence and all their elegance. It’s common for us to look at someone’s eyes as a whole and not really remember what colour they were only moments later. Let’s try and pay more attention to them a little more.
We all have a finite amount of time on this small sphere floating amongst an infinite expansive universe. The best we can do is live our moments the way they are best lived, in the present.
Look after yourself.
Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.Albert Camus
Self awareness is progression