How do you stay present in a world full of distractions?
When you’re present, you’re experiencing what’s happening in this moment. Right now, I’m sitting in a chair, writing Life fully loved. Yet it’s so hard to stay seated without my mind wandering!
I know the value of presence as a coach and as a spiritual person. When clients are fully present, they create the space to find answers to their questions. They don’t get bogged down by their past history and they don’t feel anxiety over what hasn’t occurred yet. Spiritually, I’m aware that “now” is the only moment on the time continuum where I can connect to God.
Some of us are wired to look to the past. I definitely fall into this category as I discussed in my Blueprints blog. Because the past is over, “finished,” I can pick it apart and see what worked and what didn’t.
What I can’t do is change it.
Others are hardwired to look forward to the next opportunity, challenge, or event. If you classify yourself as future-oriented, you may find yourself anticipating what’s next instead of enjoying the present moment. Unfortunately, you lose vitality living this way.
Regardless of your natural wiring, your feelings aren’t active in future or past points in time. You can only think about them, which means you’ve moved feelings (which can only be felt in the body) from your body to your mind.
The cost of being in your head is disconnection, literally by disconnecting feelings from your body, and figuratively, by experiencing disconnection from others.
You can only connect right now.
Getting Present Toolbox
I know many techniques for getting present and yet I struggle with it every day. Let me share some tools with you, all of which I’ve discussed in Life fully loved over the past two years:
- Get Present exercise;
- Adopting new perspectives;
- PQ method of rubbing your fingertips
- Breathwork like Box Breathing
Challenges in Getting Present
Why does the mind chatter so much? I know The Judge saboteur judges me for thinking so much. Why can’t I let it go and enjoy the moment instead of analyzing it?
I suspect the monkey mind permits saboteurs to take charge. And you’ve learned that saboteurs don’t want resolution; they just want to be right. Saboteurs will rationalize, justify, and carry on endlessly if you allow them.
A yoga teacher told the class recently, “The mind chatters. That’s what it does.” Instead of judging myself for thinking, she’s saying accept that’s what the mind does. The mind thinks.
I have a choice, though, in how I respond to those thoughts. In that space between myself and my thoughts, choice lives.
Maybe instead of consciously giving up my thoughts, which is an active denial of the reality that only strengthens resistance, I could instead focus on becoming present.
A New Choice
I’ve created a visualization that helps me get present. I use it regularly to get into flow. Flow, as defined by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly whom I’ve mentioned before, is about getting into a “flow state” which happens when you’re fully present. Picture yourself flowing down a river, riding with the current, in a state of ease. Click here to listen to it.
You are always safe in the present moment. When you’re safe, you can connect to your Leader Within and get the guidance you need. Try it. You’ll see.