Are you living in the present?
What does living in the present mean to you?
Living in the present is something we are hearing more and more these days. Whenever someone laments the state of our society and how social media is hijacking our minds, there comes someone who will tell us the solution is to live more in the present. Now, more than ever, there are plenty of apps which will give us a number of tailored mindfulness breathing and meditation exercises to help us in our daily lives.
How simple is it to be more present?
Since 2017, I have become interested in mindfulness and started exploring mindfulness apps, blogs, teachings, etc. There is a lot to digest and it can be quite overwhelming so, we need to commit ourselves to learn the ins and outs and really get immersed in it.
The first step is easy. All you need to do is to slow down and breathe slowly. Learning mindful breathing can help you to slow down and feel more present – at least in the first minute or so.
Unfortunately, even though in theory living in the present sounds simple, it’s not that simple. You’ll find that when you make an effort to be mindful many things get in the way. Your brain will launch a stream of totally irrelevant thoughts into your head. You get distracted and become restless. All of a sudden, your effort to be present is completely derailed by the most ridiculous of things. The distractions will catch your attention (no pun intended).
Being more present is not about not thinking or not being distracted
Why do you have to make such an effort to be present? The answer is – you don’t. That’s right. Irrelevant thoughts and distractions happen when we start making a conscious effort to become more mindful and live in the present. It’s not your brain staging its own revolt against you. It’s just simply a habit. We are used to thinking a lot about mostly irrelevant, and quite frankly, pointless and negative stuff. Our brains are full of sludge!
When we become more present, we start noticing all the sludge. Now, rather than running around in auto-pilot, we are taking the time to pay attention to what comes to our mind. What before was a source of frustration, now has the potential to make you more curious.
Being more present is to accept what is and be OK with it
You’ll notice that once you know that what you are paying attention to is sludge, you can accept that it is there, and you don’t have to do anything about it at that point in time. Seriously, why do you need to worry about the email that was not sent yesterday, the things someone said to you a week ago that were hurtful, not knowing whether you will go on a holiday or not? What will worrying about the past or the future do for you in the present? The answer is nothing.
The only thing that really matters is what is happening right now, in this present moment. That’s the only thing you have to put your attention on.
The moment you concentrate on yourself and on your breath, you are in control of yourself. You can choose not to react or do anything other than enjoying this singular moment. When you do, you give yourself the opportunity to make better choices for yourself simply because you take the time to really listen to yourself and others.
Living in the present is more than just a fad. It brings you freedom and joy; so next time, when your mind wanders, smile, breathe deeply and be present.
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About Lara Noormahomed
I’m dedicated to empowering you to access your true potential. My premise is that you already have what you need to succeed. I'm here to support you in accessing that knowledge and unlocking your potential.… Read more
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