The power of being present
So, what do I mean by this? For me there are different levels to being present, and from my own recent beginner’s perspective I am going to talk you through how I have worked to be more present in my day to day life, and the impact it has had for me. And maybe just maybe it might encourage you to give it a try.
I had always been one to be continually on the go, continually thinking ahead to the next thing I needed to do, the next person I needed to meet, the things I needed to buy, constantly in my head and very rarely in the moment and present to the world around me. When I started to do a hypnotherapy course, and started to work on relaxing my body, I began to become very aware of how tense I was physically and how difficult it was for me to calm my mind for the hypnotherapy. I suddenly had the realization that although I appeared calm to the people around me, my mind was constantly racing a million miles ahead, and my body was feeling the impact of that through tight and tense muscles in different areas of my body.
With this realization, I decided to look at what I could start to do differently to change this pattern I had. The question was how to calm my racing “things to do” mind? I looked at how I approached my day, and explored what would help me stay more in the present. So firstly, rather than constantly have my mind racing around things I needed to do, I created a list on my phone, anytime something important came into my mind, I added it to my list, so it was out of my head, and on a list that I could refer to when needed.
The next step in my own process was looking at how I could Let my body relax, so I started to pay attention to how I was feeling physically as I would go through my day, if I was starting to feel stressed, my breathing would become a little quicker, and shallower. As a result, I decided I would focus on this to help ground myself. For this I did a regular breathing exercise, that allowed me time to resync my breathing as such. I would take 5 slow deep breathes. With each breath, I’d tell my body to release all the tension it has, as I took each breath, I would stretch out my arms, get up from my chair, stretch my legs, and again with each breath imagine my body feeling totally at ease, and calm.
These were the two main things that were getting in the way of me allowing myself to be more present in my daily life. I felt these two strategies I created would help me manage these tendencies of mine. Now with these two things addressed and managed, I had a more relaxed body and clearer mind, and more time to observe and focus on the world around me.
What I discovered by working to be in this state was an increased awareness of my physical response to the world and a more grounded observation of what was going on in the people around me. Working to be present really enabled me not just to notice more closely what was going on in the people and world around me, but how I was now responding to them and interacting with them. I was more engaged, less rushed, more attentive, more in tune and increasingly more aware of the little details of the day.
My learning from this is what I have been missing day to day cos I had been running from yesterday to tomorrow with blinkers on, which meant I was actually missing out on the most important day: Today.
The power of being present for me is in “being in the day that you are in, and really valuing it for all it offers to you, large and small.”