04/09/2013 08:23 am ET Updated Jun 09, 2013

How to Be Here Now: 3 Exercises To Be More Present

"One foot in the past; one foot in the future; pissing on the now."
Russell Friedman, Co-Founder The Grief Recovery Institute

A dear friend, mentor and wise soul, Russell Friedman, once shared this quote with me while we were discussing the importance of being present in life. This bold and somewhat crass phrase conjures a completely accurate metaphor. The more I thought about it, the more it rang true. I definitely do not want to be pissing on the now. You? Unfortunately, it's what many of us do because we waste so much time ruminating about the past or trying to predict the future. The truth is -- right now is the only moment we are guaranteed.

When you live in regret or longing for the past, or in a constant state of trying to protect yourself from future misfortune, you miss the real and potentially amazing opportunities that are staring you right in the face, in the now.

Three Exercises to Be More Present

1. Conscious Observation. Take an object, like your phone or a pen. For 60 seconds, look at it, feel it, observe it without judging it. (Don't think about whether you like it, it's time to get an updated model, etc. Just observe it for what it actually is.)

2. Count to 10. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and slowly count to 10. Repeat this a couple times throughout the day. You will have thoughts. Don't worry about that and don't try to stop them. Just let them be, without attaching any meaning to them. Your thoughts are like a pebble thrown into water -- just observe the ripples as they eventually smooth to calm water.

3. Sixty-Second Meditation. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and simply follow your inhales and exhales for 60 seconds. Again, those thoughts are ripples in the water...

You may want to do just one of these exercises or try them all. Just like anything, the key to building your awareness and present moment consciousness is consistency. The more you do these exercises, the more you will be able to harness the unlimited potential that this moment is offering.

Drop a comment and let me know what you observe when you try these.
Most people typically find these exercises are not as easy as you think, so I am interested in your experience.

Love Love Love

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