Have you ever lost your car keys? Or arrived at the grocery store and realized you've left your wallet at home? I have, and I'll bet many of you have, too. You know how much stress and anxiety these situations create, and all because we were not present when we put our keys down (somewhere!) or were preparing to go to the store.
Cultivating a practice of "deliberate presence" can help us be more relaxed, productive and confident in our daily activities. This practice is not about erasing our thoughts. It's about becoming aware of the process of thinking so that we are not in a trance -- lost inside our thoughts (which is when we lose our keys!). That's the big difference. To train in becoming aware of thoughts can help us notice when our mind is actively thinking, either using the label "thinking, thinking," or identifying the kind of thought, "worrying, worrying," "planning, planning." Then we can change our focus to what is happening right here and now.
Here Are Eight Reasons to Be More Present in Your Life:
1. Save Time
Looking for lost items takes up a lot of time, not to mention the stress that goes with it. By taking a few extra seconds to be more deliberate when you put things away, you can save yourself time and stress. And you gain more enjoyment in your day!
2. Save Money
The last time I lost my house key, I had to pay a locksmith to come out and let me into my own home. Being lost in thoughts can get expensive. It only takes a few extra seconds to stop, breathe, come into the present moment and check we have everything we need, or check an email before we send it out, or whatever it is that our present moment requires. The investment of a few extra seconds of time can save us a lot of money -- and stress!
3. Be More Relaxed, Confident, and Calm
When you are not scurrying around in a state of high anxiety because you can't find something, you feel good because you know you are well-prepared for your trip. In that relaxed state, your self-confidence is strong, you are at your productive, creative best, and you know that you can handle any unexpected circumstance that might arise with focus and clarity.
4. Build Better Relationships
When you listen with deliberate presence, the other person feels heard and has a tendency to trust you more. Trust is the cornerstone of all relationship-building, whether it's with friends and family, at work, or even with random people you meet at the grocery store or when travelling. Being present is a likeability factor, and gains you respect, friendships, and good things happening.
5. Experience Less Judgment and More Love
Being deliberately present gives you choice. At the moment in which you pause and realize that these thoughts are not really serving me, you have the option to come back to presence. This process of choosing becomes more powerful as you realize how thoughts can create suffering and separation. They can create an "us" and a "them." They create judgment. Deliberate presence allows us to see people (and ourselves!) without judgment, which opens us to being more kind, compassionate, and loving.
6. Gain Greater Self-Awareness and Self-Love
As our practice deepens, we become more aware of our thoughts. This gives us the opportunity to assess them and notice that much of the time, our thoughts are not really serving us. Many thoughts are driven by fear and lock us into insecurity. We realize we don't have to believe our thoughts! They are not reality. Presence gives us the opportunity to be kinder to ourselves.
7. Activate the Positive Law of Attraction
The law of attraction states that we get what we vibrate. The more present we are, the more we can be aware of our thoughts and feelings, and keep them positive. Becoming more in mastery of what we are transmitting energetically, changes what we are attracting, and life becomes easier and more positive and joyful.
8. Gain in Integrity
Integrity means being connected to yourself -- body, mind, heart and soul. You are in an optimal state to respond to daily occurrences.
Integrity also means making three agreements with yourself:
- Saying "yes" when you mean yes.
- Saying "no" when you mean no.
- Always doing what you say you are going to do.
A practice of deliberate presence helps you to tune in with yourself. Then you respond to situations from a place of inner integration and feel good about yourself. It's easier to make decisions and keep your word.
The key here is that we approach this practice with gentleness and kindness. Each time we recognize thinking and come back into the present moment, we are planting a seed of awareness. We are creating a new habit -- a new way of being in the world. The incessant buzz of thoughts in our minds starts to take a backseat. We live in what is true -- the aliveness, vulnerability, and honesty of the present moment -- rather than in the storyline of our thoughts. We experience the courage to be our true selves.
I look forward to your comments.
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