Saturday, April 2, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

Be present in your life

Do you feel like there's just not enough time in the day? Does the weeks and months seem to fly by without a trace? It seems it is a sign of our times to have overstuffed schedules rushing from from one thing to another. In our hectic daily lives it is very common to feel like time is disappearing through your fingers.

Most of us can relate to the feeling of having endless amounts of time when we were children. An hour was a long stretch of time, a week was an ocean of time and summer break lasted forever. For sure, most kids don't spend a lot of time scheduling their time, but the day has 24 hours for all of us; Why does time pass so much faster when we grow up?

One things that children are great at that we as grown ups could stand a lot from regaining is that they are very present in their lives.

So what does being present in your life mean? Being present means to take in and experience your life in this very moment. It means being aware of the situation you are in at every moment. It is paying attention to your surroundings and to your own feelings and experiences.

The reason why so many of us feel like there is not enough time in the day is that we don't slow down enough to appreciate what we have right now. With our days packed to the brim with duties and appointments it is very easy for our minds to jump from what we are doing to what we are doing next, or what we would like to do next week and so on. The problem with staying mentally ahead of yourself is that we never really get the time to enjoy what we are doing right now.

There are great benefits to being more present in your own life. When you pay attention to what you are doing at every moment it will make your life more enjoyable. When eating, really taking the time to focus on the food and how it tastes and feels will make the meal much more enjoyable. If you are going for a walk, take in all the sights, smells and sounds around you. Pay proper attention to the beauty that is all around us. Even focusing on your own body can be a great way to stay present. Take deep breaths and feel how the air fills your lungs, notice how your muscles flex and relax when you move. Obviously there are infinite ways to shift our focus to the present.

Staying present in the moment is very easy. At the core it is to rediscover the curiosity about the world we had as kids. As simple as it is to do, staying present can be a lot harder to do in practice. The pressures of a stressful hectic day and long held mental habits makes it easy to float into the past or worry and plan about the future. While it is impossible and not even advisable to never think about the past or the future there are some things that can be done to be more present

Like any other skill you want to develop, being more present in the moment is something you will get better at with practice. Make a mental effort to stay fully focused in what you are doing several times a day. You might not be able to stay committed to the moment for very long periods of time in the beginning, but with practice you will find it easier and easier. If you have a hard time remembering to practice being present, give yourself reminders. A note on the fridge can be a great way to remind yourself to fully take in life at meal time for example.

Make room in your schedule to meditate every day. There are many different techniques for meditating, but for the purpose of being more present the focus while meditating should be on being fully aware of the moment while meditating. Pay attention to how you hold your body, what the floor feels like, how your thoughts are shifting. This exercise will make it a lot easier to stay focused on the present in other situations, but it is also a great stress reliever.

We can almost all of us benefit greatly from simplifying our lives, but for the purpose of being present it is important to cut down on multitasking. You can not be fully present in the moment if you are dedicating your precious resources to several different tasks. Work hard to stay focused on one task at the time, and then to get fully involved in that task. You will find that tasks become more enjoyable, you will seem to free up a lot of time, and you will be much more effective

And last but not least, don't expect perfection! It will be difficult to stay present for extended times at first. Don't let that frustrate you. Instead, when you realize you have slipped back into less focused thinking, take advantage of that reminder to practice staying in that moment. Keep finding small pockets of time during your day when you focus fully and with time it will get easier and eventually become a strong mental habit.

  1. Why does our life move so quickly? Sometimes I have to sit down and remind myself to truly enjoy life. Soak in the sun, enjoy the waves, and just enjoy the people around you. Life is what you make it... so like you said, be present. You never know what you might miss.

    Great blog! I stopped in to welcome you to the A to Z challenge! I'm a co-host should have any questions just ask away! I do hope you'll stop by for a visit! We're also having fun on twitter (I'm @jenunedited and we're at #atozchallenge)!

  1. Wow, your blog is right up my alley. How can I follow you? I don't see a box...is there another way? :) I found you through the a-z challenge too. Come check out my blog if you like! I read your post about growing your own food...we definitely want to start a garden this year! I can't wait. :)

  1. Thank you to both of you for the encouraging comments. They are hugely inspiring!

    This blog is in it's infant stages right now and there are many things I haven't figured out how to do yet, the whole following thing being one of them...

    The idea behind this blog is to bring together health, courage and responsibility and show why I feel they are closely related.

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