You are two persons living together. You and your brain. You are not the boss. Your mind is the boss. I love my mind when it behaves and does what I ask it to do, which most of the time it does not. How many nights I'm exhausted, had a full day physically and mentally. I'm ready to go to bed and go to sleep. Guess who takes over sleep? O.K. now it's reminding me of every damn thing I forgot to do today and insists that I remember. That I make another appointment to replace the one I forgot. So who forgot? How come my brilliant mind didn't remind me? You wrote on the calendar, but you forgot to look at the calendar. So who screwed up? So who is the boss? You must have said that 100 times in your life.
Let's talk about dancing with a partner, specifically tango. If I can't follow my partners lead, whose fault is that? Not my partner, no! It's my mind, who has just taken over. When that happens you haven't a Chinaman's chance to follow your partners lead. If I could put a rope around my brain when I dance tango and just allow my body the freedom I beg for, long for, and cannot dance without, that's when I want to lose my mind.
Being present when you dance or do almost anything, that requires feeling and response means your brain has to take a walk and only return when you ask it to return. When I need memory is when I need that incredible piece of machinery. Being present is my idea of perfection. That's when you and your mind are in sync and there is complete serenity, silence and harmony. You and your brain are one. No argument and in tango, no tension, just trust and euphoria. Not only does this apply to tango, but every activity. Try it in tennis, trapeze, yoga, and music. I mention these because they all are in my repertoire. It takes respect, concentration, and desire. If one can achieve these, then and only then, are you present.
To be present is a rare place to be. Once in my experience dancing tango, I have experienced that wonderful place. And when I improvise at the piano and compose music, then I'm truly present. It's not what I would call a peaceful place, it is being alive and creative. In yoga being present for me is a two-minute handstand. Every cell in my body and brain is alert and totally quiet. There is nothing more personal, than being present.
When I can't sleep because of mental activity, that's my terror. I count backwards starting with 100. After several times my mind gives up and sleep takes over. Don't count on it every time. My brain happens to be most active while I'm sleeping. I'm a dreamer. Even at waking intervals, I often return to the same dream. I enjoy and like to dream even when they are disturbing and full of anxiety.
I'm doing jump rope and then a handstand. During those two minutes my mind is absolutely silent. I look forward to and enjoy those two minutes. You can be on a great journey. Just listen to that person you are living with. Then the journey will be a rewarding one. You might even experience the present.
Life is a day-by-day journey and being present is the secret. Meet each challenge and relish each moment. Spending time in the future and in the past is a minus. There is progress, if you pay attention to the moment you're in. Then without thought or anticipation your journey will be a creative one. Listen to the silence. Know who you are, like who you are. Listen to that person you're spending your life with.