Saturday, October 8, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

How to be present in the moment

This precise moment is the only point in time that you have full control over. The past can not be undone and the future can not be predicted, but this moment is yours to do with as you will.

This is a simple fact, yet we spend virtually all our focus on either the past or the future. The present floats by and we hardly notice. This path through life is not very conscious. If you ever catch yourself thinking that you can't believe how fast time is passing, chances are you have not spent a lot of time being present in your life.

Being present is a fantastic way to appreciate the life you have been blessed with, but how do you develop the habit of being present? Here are a few ideas on how to get reconnected with the present.

The most obvious starting point is meditation. The whole idea of meditation is to be 100% focused on the present. To clear everything else from your mind and just be in the present. The combination of clearing your mind and breathing deeply is extremely powerful.

Deep breathing by itself can also be used to develop awareness of the moment. By paying close attention to how you breath and focusing on every single breath you are naturally focusing on the present time. Deep breathing is done by slowing down your breath and using your stomach to draw deep breaths. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth at a slow and steady pace. This will automatically calm you down and make it easier to develop a sharp, uncluttered mind.

Another method that can be used to develop mindfulness is to pay attention to your thoughts. Usually our thoughts come and go as responses to external events and we don't pay much attention to them. It is possible however to think about your thoughts. While your mind is coming up with new thoughts, focus on exploring what they are, how they feel, why you are thinking it and so on. Again, this frame of mind will automatically lead to focusing on the present.

Finally, you can be present in the moment by paying attention to your body. The body provides feedback about what it is doing constantly, but we hardly ever pay attention. We are so used to the feeling of having a body that we cruise by on auto pilot. Try breaking out of that mental dullness and pay attention to your body right now. How are you keeping your balance? What does your clothes feel like on your body? How does your foot strike the ground when you take a step?

The great thing about this technique is that it can be applied to any activity you do during the day. If you have to fold laundry, pay attention to how the fabric feels in your hands, what muscles you use to fold a towel perfectly etc. This can transform a mundane and boring chore to a rich experience of being present in the moment.

  1. Great post. Meditating, journaling and paying attention to your body and how it feels are the ways to go.

    I have not done the third too much but journaling really gives me a chance to focus on my thoughts. Documenting these thoughts especially if I can be objective is very
    meaningful It can help to solve many problems.

    Most importantly, writing diary is a great way to capture that particular day- a snap shot of your thoughts:)

  1. Oh I need to print this out and read it a hundred times to make it sink in....

  1. Bieng in the moment is exactly what makes time stop. Since time is only a perception we can stop it an sink in it by savoring it with meditation or observation or we can just " forget" and become a slave of it.
    I love the freedom behing the fact that the way we percieve time is only up to us.
    Thank you for this post, as a matter of fact yesterday I wrote a blog on the same concept called "Are you tired to run after Time?" for the blog challenge that will be published on October 15th.. nice coincidence;)

  1. @alankarshilpa Thank you for your comment! And thank you for adding another excellent way to stay focused on the moment. Keeping a journal is a great way to get in touch with your own mind.

  1. @Katrina Hehe, if you take one thing from this article I would suggest reading up on meditation and giving that an honest effort. That is the best way I know to develop awareness of the present. Maybe that tip will save you some of those 100 reads :)

  1. @Patricia Now I am looking forward to the 15th :) I'll sneak peak at your blog since it sounds like it is just the kind of thing I am interested in. Thank you for your comment!

  1. Thank you for the reminder! Even though I am 'aware' of this...I 'know' this...being in the moment really takes practice.

  1. Great blog!

    I am a daily meditator and have been one for over a decade and a half with an East Indian spiritual teacher. It has changed my life in as far as how I respond to it. Staying in the present moment makes life easier, calmer and more joyful!

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