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Being Present

I have lots of things going in my life, and at times they become a jumble and I have trouble sorting them out in my mind. The result is that I often end up feeling overwhelmed and not knowing which to tackle first. When this happens I realise that I’m so into my head and out of my body that I’m not at all in touch with the “now”.

So, this month I’m reflecting on what I call “being present”. “Being present” means that I focus on what I’m doing/feeling right now. Not on what I did yesterday or will do tomorrow, but right now. Amazingly, when I do this for at least 10 minutes, it clears my brain, relaxes my body and I’m once again able to concentrate.

There is something very calming and peaceful about being “in the now”. Stopping everything and becoming aware of what my body is doing. Is my breathing deep or shallow, where are my muscles tense, am I warm or cold?

When I am “present” I also notice what’s happening outside my body. The way the blossoms blowing off the trees look like snowflakes, how the sun feels as it warms my face, the texture of soft, squishy grass under my feet.

Many years ago when my children were toddlers they taught me the beauty of “being present”. Small children are always in the present. They don’t worry about what they have done or will do. They live in the moment.

If you’ve ever walked with a toddler you know that everything is fascinating. They see the beautiful leaf, the caterpillar crossing the sidewalk, and the lovely rocks in the driveway. They taught me to slow down and take time to notice the present, instead of focusing on moving ahead to our destination. For them, the process was the destination.

Now, when I feel overwhelmed and scattered I remind myself to stop, and just “be present”. It makes all the difference.

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