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Living In

The Present

Debbie Schroeder RN, BSN
Professional Health Coach

It seems to me the concept of living in the present or the Now is a focus of much conversation.   One example is, Eckhart Tolle, who was recently featured on Oprah with a ten week webinar of his book The New Earth which is all about the power of living in the Now.  I attended a week long Yoga and Meditation retreat in Mexico and the theme of the week was the power of living in the present.  Life can only happen right now.  It doesn't happen in the past and it can't happen in the future.  The power of life is right now in the present.

I also attended a training program on giving powerful presentation.  This was also a week long program and the main focus was on being present in all you do.  The best way to connect with your audience is to be authentic and fully present in the moment.  So what does this mean?  To be present in the moment means that your mind is clear, you are not worrying about the past or future.  You are focused only on being present right here and now.

While I was at the retreat in Mexico, I was reading a fascinating book by Dr. David Hawkins simply entitled " I:  Reality and Subjectivity".  Here is his description of living in the present.  He compares living in the present to the rise and fall of waves in the ocean.  "If the focus of the sense of 'me' is on the rising crest, the person never lives in reality but is constantly poised with the expectation of control the next instant.  They are therefore constantly concerned with the future.  If the focus is on the back of the falling wave, then the 'me' tends to cling to the past and editorializing.  With some practice, the focus can be precisely narrowed to only the breaking crest of the wave, for in that instant, there is neither past nor future and neither regret for the past nor longing for nor anticipation of the future.  Everything is witnessed to be as it is."

I encourage you to notice how often your mind is focused on either something that happened in the past or something you wish to happen in the future.  As you start to pay attention to your thoughts, you may be amazed how often you are in the past or future and not living in the present time.   How much of life are you missing because you are not present to your family, friends, co-workers and other significant people in your life?  With practice you can learn to live in the present and enjoy each and every moment of your life.  As you start to pay attention to your thoughts and notice, you are thinking about the past or future, simply say "stop" and re-focus your mind on the here and now.  With practice, it will get easier over time. 

Another way to clear your mind and become more present is to have quiet time for meditation or prayer.  By spending quiet time everyday you can connect with your body and quiet your mind.  Deep breathing will also connect you to the present.  As you focus on taking slow deep breathes, you are paying attention to your body and this brings you into the present moment.  If you find yourself worrying about the past or future, taking a few slow deep breathes can calm you down and bring you back to the present moment.

"Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  And today?  Today is a gift.  That's why we call it the present"  ~Babatunde Olatunji

Enjoy the moment and notice how stress vanishes and peace flows into your life.


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