The Power of the Present Moment

Practicing being present

 

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.

Three Tips for Designing your Holiday Season

Life is Peaceful.

Life is Peaceful.

How are you feeling about the holiday season? Some people find this time of the year exciting and love the energy that it brings.  Other people find this time emotionally challenging due to many personal circumstances.  Take the time to check in with yourself to see how you are feeling these days. The holiday season is here and will come around every year at the same time. This is your opportunity to design the experience you want to live. Here are a few tips to consider as you decide how you want to create your holiday season:

Be Grateful. Take a moment to really take a serious look at where you are right now. Remember that the news is designed to provide updates on things that are not necessary positive. The media and people around us may paint a picture that may not apply to what is happening in your world. What are you tuning into these days?  How often are you tuning in? How are your emotions affected by what you listen to, who are you are around? There is always something to be grateful for: sight, touch, taste, hearing, talking, walking. Be creative and find something.

Be Engaged! Don’t you love technology? I do. The internet, cell phones and computers allow us to feel connected as often as we want to. We can email, instant message, and text message people any time we feel the urge. Take the time over the holidays to be more engaged in person with people and allow the technology to rest.  There is nothing more special than having heartfelt conversations and laughing and enjoying good company.  How can you connect more with the people you enjoy spending time with? Ask yourself, do I really need to have the cell phone on when were are together? Your family, friends, and people you are with will appreciate this simple gesture.

Be Thoughtful. Every moment you have a choice. Even when you don’t feel like you have a choice, you do. Take the time to pay attention to what you are feeling and how you are responding to people around you. Are you spending time with the people you really want to be with right now? If you are that is wonderful! If you aren’t, get clear about how you want to change that picture. Every moment is an opportunity to be mindful about the choices you make every day. When you decide what you want, move in the direction that will get you where you want to be. 

Remember that CALM and CHAOS come from the same place, your mind. 😉  Be ever wonderful and make the choices that allow you to create the life you want to live!

Let me know your thoughts by clicking the comment button, I’d like to know what you have to say.