The Present – 7 Ways to Get There

How many times a day…or should I say a minute…are you actually planning ahead to some distant place in your future? Do you even have a clue? Has this habit of living in your head become so rote that you have no idea of how to even broach this question? With all of the worldly demands that we have weighing on our shoulders, it’s a wonder that people ever access the present moment at all. Or is it?

I actually caught myself doing this very thing this morning. While on a beautiful early morning hike (a rarity) with my lovely husband, my oh-so-crafty mind seemed to be on a mission. Actually, it proceeded and succeeded for a few disturbing moments, to bring me up and out of my GLORIOUS present. Let me just tell you, this present moment was quite extraordinary. The air was fresh, (for L.A. can we say miracle?) the woodsy outdoor smells were blissfully intoxicating, a crystal clear blue sky was upon us, a spectacular view of looking down on the entire city had us in awe, no one was else on the trail, my best friend was by my side and we were getting some awesome thigh burning exercise. Yes!

So why in the *%@^ did my mind want to take me out of that feel good place and suddenly have a conversation about, (drum roll please) what we should do for CHRISTMAS?!? Come on, Christmas? Really? It’s early November and all is right in this moment, but my 3 pound chatter brain has other ideas. It wants to transport me out of this divine moment and have me analyze, fret, worry etc…about holiday plans. Jeez, how incredibly ridiculous! Thankfully I became AWARE of this pattern (victory!) and found myself aggressively saying out loud, “I don’t want to be planning right now, I want to enjoy this gorgeous hike. (dangit!)” So instantly I started appreciating all the beautiful things I was enamored with before and magically I became present again. Then I picked up on my husband’s silent thoughts reeling a million miles a minute and I proceeded to get annoyingly hooked in to HIS mind. Wow. If it’s not one mind, it’s another. Enough!

So this is what we’re up against. THIS is our daily work. Our lovely minds are simply doing their jobs of planning, scheming, analyzing etc…and will until the cows come home. However, if we are armed with AWARENESS of when our little friend is pulling it’s number, then it’s a new day and we can take back our true essence of BEING.

So what can we do to stop these mental gymnastics of incessant worrying, planning, comparing and despairing when all we want to do is truly enjoy the Present Moment?

Grab a pen…

1. Take deep full breaths and let your breath anchor your feet to the ground.

2. Notice that subtle internal shift from when you are feeling good to suddenly landing in that busy head space.

3. Stop what you are doing and get out of your head by doing something that brings you JOY.

4. Some possible ways of accessing a state of BEING again are: playing with pets, putting on a favorite CD, doing a little jig, stretching into the yoga position of downward dog, taking a leisurely or a brisk walk, venturing out into nature, giving someone a hug etc…

5. Focus on all of the BLESSINGS in the present moment you are in.

6. Let GRATITUDE saturate your whole body and soul.

7. REPEAT.

Ahhhhh, this magnificent Life of yours.

Isn’t it wonderful?!?

Hey Good Looking – Are You a Presenter?

When we deliver a presentation, we need to make the best use of all of the tools that we have at our disposal. These tools include things such as hand gestures, using pauses, and vocal variety. All too often we forget that we have one more tool for us to use: our personal style.

Life is busy and all too often too many of us just don’t take the time to look our best when we venture out into public. The reasons for this are many – we don’t expect to meet anyone that we know, we don’t think that we’re going to be out for long, or maybe we just don’t care.

It turns out that this kind of thinking opens all sorts of doors for us as presenters. If we take the time to look our best then we’ll end up being the best looking person in the room. What this means is that everyone will be looking at us. If they are already looking at us, then we’ve got half of our task taken care of!

Carmine Gallo is a communications coach who has spent a lot of time thinking about this topic. Here are some of his suggestions that will help you use this tool to it’s fullest extent:

  • Keep The Bling To A Minimum: Over time we all build up a collection of accessories. Women have a collection of flashy necklaces and too-big earrings. Men have (also) too flashy necklaces, tie holders, bracelets, etc. Remember that accessories are designed to add value to your look – not to distract from the overall package. The rule is to keep it simple and suitable for your outfit.
  • Get Some Culture: This should be something that your research for any presentation reveals to you. A suit is always appropriate – except when it’s not. Make sure that you dress in a way that matches the event or the culture of your audience. Have your dress match the expectations of your audience.
  • Smile For The Camera: As long as you are going to the effort of getting all gussied up for your big presentation, take the time to make sure that all of the photographs that are taken of you show how good you look. We can never have enough photos of ourselves when we are looking our bests. Find a professional photographer and get a formal picture taken of yourself – this will be invaluable to you later on.

All too often we end up spending all of our time researching what we want to say, how we want to say it, and what we want our audience to be motivated to do once we are done talking.

If we take the time to plan out how we are going to look for our next presentation then we’ll be ahead of the game before we even show up. Sometimes just taking the time to look at ourselves in the mirror before we head out the door can do wonders for making our presentation that more effective…!

How to Get Christmas Presents for Geeks?

If you’re not much of a technology enthusiast yourself, this part of your Christmas shopping may be a bit intimidating. Particularly if the nerd we are speaking about is someone special in your life, and it is very important than he gets a nice surprise. You know you can’t go for a bottle of cologne or a sweater – they’d probably feel just like you would if you received a pair of socks for Christmas. You may have a sort of vague idea that you should get a gadget or something. But how can you decide what to choose? What if it’s out-of-date, or they already have it, or it’s made by a company they despise?

First of all, here are some tips about gift shopping in general. If you want to make it special, you must get outside of your regular mindset. Try to put yourself in his shoes. Write down everything you know about what he loves: any special hobbies, tech companies that he likes and dislikes, what he is working on, gadgets that he has, computer games that he has, movies he has a special interest in… and basically everything that you know about his possessions and interests. Pay increased attention of the things that he already owns – you don’t want to go buying the exact same stuff. Also, listen to him when he’s talking about tech things for a few weeks, even if you do not really care – they are a good source of information.

The list might have helped you narrow things down a bit, but how do you go about actually picking the specific item? If you decide to purchase a computer game, for instance, how do you go about picking one if you don’t play PC games yourself? One thing you can do is to try reading online reviews about the latest releases. But then people have different tastes – even if you get a new, very popular one, how do you know he will like it? A straightforward solution is to speak to one of his friends if you could. If not, maybe you have a friend who plays computer games and can help you out.

Geeky toys could be a good idea – they are fun to have and not exactly something you would go buy for yourself. Your selection here is fairly wide – from walkie bits to tiny finger drums. It’s all about how much thought and imagination you put into it. In the same area, collectibles make a great present for someone who is very passionate about a particular movie or book.

If it’s a geek who also enjoys to dress up and look respectable, you could choose a designer notebook bag. Certainly, he already has one, but maybe it is just a regular bag. The advantage here is that you don’t need much technical expertise to choose a great model. You only need to know his laptop dimensions.

Books are an often ignored gift idea. Nonetheless, it’s something you can’t go wrong with if you choose carefully. You can either choose a novel or a specialty book. If he is into fantasy, for example, you might choose a good fantasy book. Even if you don’t read them, there are plenty of reviews available online. A specialty book is great if he just began learning some new programming language and is very passionate about it.

Finally, geeky T-shirts (that those with Pi-day or the caffeine molecule) are generally a safe choice. Also, if he is very enthusiastic about a new gadget that he got, you may always buy some accessories for that. Speaking of gadgets – if you want to buy that, make sure you choose the latest version of anything. Having the latest updates of everything is part of what makes you a geek.

Now many of the ideas you might have can be on the higher-end price segment. The good news is that you can always find discounts if you know where to look. United Tech Store is the one-stop-shop for all geeky things. You can find everything here, from books to the latest Xbox 360 accessories. This is not an online store, but a comparison shopping engine focused on technology. This means it brings together products from several online stores, so that you get the best deals for the things you want to buy. You may also use it as a source of inspiration if you are still unsure – it has lots of product reviews, a tech news section, and a blog section focused on technology.