When I am present, I don´t run mindlessly through all the errands on my list. I turn the autopilot off. I am aware of what is happening in the present moment and this makes me open for more possibilities.
Only in the present I can shape my reality. Here I can create the life I want to live.
After practising for a long time I finally see progress: I live much more mindful in the present. In this article I share my way to more presence and mindfulness.
Being present in the Fairy Tale Dimension
For beings in the Fairy Tale Dimension living in the present moment is natural. To be in the Now they don´t have to unlearn old programs, silence their thought mechanisms and learn something new like we western post-industrialised people have to. Why is that so? Magic only works in the present moment. I am sure that my connection with this dimension helped me on my path to more presence.
Why is it so important to be present?
The labyrinth example
I am in the middle of a labyrinth and I don´t know how to get out. It does not help to wish never to have come here in the first place (past). It also does not help to worry about the future either and panic: I will never find a way out!
The only thing that helps now is to be present and focus my attention. There is no danger for me now, there are only possibilities I don´t see yet. Perhaps I hear some people in the distance who could help me or I see the ladder round the next corner that will give me an overview. Perhaps I can detect a hole in the labyrinth that could be my way out.
Driving in the right direction
It was getting dark this summer when I was driving my family home from the Baltic Sea late in the evening. Close to the motorway the satnav suddenly told me I took a wrong turn. I was irritated because the signs said something different. The situation was confusing and I was driving very slowly to search for a place to turn. When I came around a bend two deer were walking calmly over the road right in front of me. I could stop easily and neither of us was startled. As I continued driving and I saw that I was heading in the right direction after all.
The day had been sunny and full of fun. I remember that I was present and thankful for the gift of life. This energy probably generated this very nice outcome to a potentially dangerous situation.
We often are in stress-mode
In our daily lives we are often in survival-mode. This keeps us on our toes and energises us. Our body then emits hormones like cortisol and adrenalin to give us the energy we need. But it also causes tension. We are so used to this tension permeating our daily lives that we often can´t feel it any more.
Being present is being in rest and repair-mode.
It took a lot of practise for me to become more present, but it was worth it. Everybody can do it, in his or her own way of course. I went through these phases:
My way to more presence consisted of these phases
I was fascinated by the prospect of being able to more actively create my reality. I gathered information, read on the Internet and in books. I decided it was worth a try.
2. The click moment
In the click moment I am still in the theory part of establishing a new routine. But when it clicks I really get the concept. Only afterwards I am able to start with the implementation.
It took more than one click moment for me to understand what it could mean to be more present and how it works: For example a family situation I could turn around because I was more present and did not react automatically.
After this I was ready for some exercises. I tried to include them in my everyday life.
I discovered that long daily exercises are not for me.
Long before results could be expected I was bored and gave up. I used to feel bad when this happened. I beat myself up: Other people can do this! I judged myself as being lazy and not motivated enough.
Today I am wiser: These exercises weren´t for me. But don´t worry there are also exercises for easily bored people. The right exercises feel easy and can be even fun. I enjoy variations.
The question: What is good for me this very moment? became my central exercise. When I was hesitating what to do next, I asked myself what would serve me best right this moment. I had a big training field in my daily life between family, job and volunteering.
At the beginning the question What is good for me now? felt strange. I did not get any helpful answers either: I thought a coffee would be good for me, but it turned out that this coffee was one too many.
But I got used to regularly checking in with myself. Slowly I learned to listen to the small impulses that I give myself, that are so easily overlooked in our daily routine. I got more and more experience in finding out what was really good for me. This slowly brought more ease to my life.
Sadly we need a lot of repetition to establish new routines. Because this exercise was okay for me I stuck with it. Only when something becomes automatic our unconscious can take over and we can create a new habit.
While doing the exercise I almost forgot what I wanted to achieve with it, which was probably very helpful. Only now I realise how natural being more present has become for me.
Am I always present? No! This is still a work in progress.
Routinely checking in with myself multiple times during the day I am becoming more conscious of what I am doing, my mood and where it comes from. I automatically give myself a break from my thoughts and take an observer´s view. Sometimes I have to laugh at what my mind conjures up.
What has changed for me by becoming more present?
Being more mindful has changed a lot of aspects in my life:
- I now appreciate the little wonders in my everyday life much more.
- I don´t take my thoughts so seriously any more. I also take things less personally.
- I am much more content and balanced.
- I listen more to my little impulses. This way I see many more opportunities. They make my life much more interesting and easy.
Do I always listen to my impulses? No! I am stubborn sometimes.
Creating new opportunities
I am much more balanced and in my flow. I cherish the new opportunities I have started to create. Lately I did a lot of things I would never have thought possible. From giving speeches to doing videos to having my blog featured in a facebook group.
Presence in my Practise
During my work with clients we both are very much present, even when we are separated by an ocean. Being present we are able to tap into new information and find solutions to situations that would have been overlooked otherwise.
In my practise and in my volunteer work I see a lot of suffering. Some personal stories stick with me more than others. That is normal. I can come back to the present moment to help efficiently much easier now.
Be gentle to yourself and don´t give up too soon
I have often thought, I will never learn this!
Please try to ignore your inner monologue when you try something new. Our mind just mirrors our reluctance to venture into unknown places and is not to be taken too seriously!
Don´t beat yourself up because things do not go as planned. You are right the way you are. Everybody is. We always compare ourselves with others and this is not an efficient way to learn anything new.
There will always be somebody who does something better, is better looking or more intelligent. When you catch yourself comparing again, and you will when you are more present, search for the next mirror and stick out your tongue. This will bring you back immediately to the present moment, I promise.
When exercises work for you, do them. Use everything that is helpful. It is great when you have a morning routine or meditate regularly.
Meditation, becoming quiet, is good for me. I managed to establish more or less regular meditations in my life. I often use an app, sometimes with music sometimes without and I change my meditation places. I aim for at least three 30 minutes sessions a week and have been quite successful with this in the last year. When I don´t reach my goal I don´t beat myself up any more. I stick with it because I feel better with this pause in my life.
You can only win
When you are present your thinking, feeling and doing is one. You are out of stress-mode and in rest and repair mode. The autopilot is off and you are at the steering wheel. This makes you the creator of your life.
I am not alone in my endeavour to become more present. Many people I know are working on this now because they have experienced that this is the way to create a fulfilling life.
What are your experiences with becoming more present and mindful? Please share them here. We can learn so much from each other!
Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now. This book is written in a question and answer format. I have reread it recently and now get what he means. Should you need a structured approach I don´t recommend it.
Joe Dispenza has written books on healing yourself. To heal yourself you have to be totally present and he explains very well how to achieve this.
You can find good videos of them both on You tube.
Exercises for more mindfulness and presence:
Pictures: pixabay and private
© Inge Schumacher