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?!?