The Power of the Present Moment
In March this year I completed a four week long Mindfulness Based Stress Resilience class that also included a day long silent retreat. Prior to taking the class I had an issue with my back and right knee that definitely made me “mindful” about how I was able to move, the pain was a constant reminder. Pain can be a gentle or strong reminder of how we are living our life. I struggled for several days and finally I was in so much pain that I had to take a few days off from work. The decision to take a few days off of work was big for me, I don’t remember the last time I have taken time off due to illness.
I also missed the second class due to the extreme pain. In the bed on my back with my ice pack I was definitely finely tuned in with each present moment. I practiced breathing and meditating a lot over those days. Being forced to “be still” made me even more present once I was able to move more fluidly a few days later. I gingerly walked the dog and took my time getting in the car. I was forced to practice mindfulness in a way you can only experience when in pain.
It was a valuable lesson. I am proud of myself for taking care of me and listening to what my body was saying. Stop. Slow down. Take care of yourself. I am slowing down more, taking my time and savoring more of the day to day experiences like walking the dog and taking in the sights and sounds. Life’s simple pleasures like watching a child discover something new, feeling the sun on your face or hearing a wind chime are a few ways to connect with the power of the present moment.
My back and knee are much better. I am so grateful for the blessing of moving better and being in less pain. When I find myself walking very fast, I take a breath and remind myself to slow down and be more present by taking in all my senses. I remember how an older person walks, very deliberately and that helps me to moderate my pace.
The present moment is called so because it is a gift. I’d love to hear how you have learned to be more present. Share your thoughts below and share with others.