LIFE

TRYING TO BE PRESENT

 

be present II

So much of our lives is spent either looking back on what we’ve done or preparing for the future. Think about it – how much time do you spend a day focusing only on what is happening at that exact moment? Some of us are better about this than others – some people find themselves completely focused on current projects and thoughts of past and future are non-existent. I envy those people.

I have been making a great effort lately not to slow down (I always prefer being busy), but to be aware of what I’m doing at the moment that I’m doing it. Thoughts of what I need to do later can be quite overwhelming and lead to a great deal of stress and anxiety. “I have to remember to do ____.” “Can’t forget to do _____!” all awhile partially (or entirely) tuning out from what I’m currently doing. It’s like when you are reading a book and your mind wanders and you realize 10 minutes later that you have absolutely no idea what you just read. I cannot tell you how many times that happens to me with books, and life. This realization led to my effort to work to change my habits and be present.

Now I realize it is impossible and foolish not to think about the future, not to plan for what is to come. However, I am finding the importance of reminding myself to be present as much as possible. As cheesy as it sounds, I have a sticky note on my computer reminding me, I write it every week in my planner, and even my phone’s wallpaper reads “be present.”

be-present-I

 

There is so much to be thankful for at (nearly) every moment in life, so take time to realize that and appreciate it. When I am feeling upset, I remind myself that I am upset in that moment. Knowing that I will not be upset forever makes it easier to accept feeling upset presently. 

I have by no means mastered being present, but am making a conscience effort that was not there before. I am not stress or anxiety free, but have noticed some major positive differences. (I may go more into this in a later post about meditation, if you guys are interested.) I am really excited to see where this continued practice of being present takes me!

 

be present III

What tools do you use to be present? I would love to hear your suggestions and stories about living in the moment.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Paul July 29, 2016 at 3:11 am

    I’m a writer and have been for many years. Every day when I sit down to work I close my eyes and say “be here now” to myself several times until I’m convinced that I inside can be present. Then I shut off my email for an hour at a time and write. There are many distractions in the world. Being Present is merely developing a strategy for minimizing them.

    • Reply Leslie Hughes July 29, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      That’s great! I will definitely have to try using that mantra when preparing to work on a project!

  • Reply Dee Perry July 29, 2016 at 5:46 am

    Beautiful photos for your blog post. I agree. Being Present is a challenge. Like you, I keep working on it.
    Thanks for the reminder about Headspace. I’ll keep trying. XO

    • Reply Leslie Hughes July 29, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      Thank you! Headspace is so great – once you get into the groove it becomes much easier! xo

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