Happy Labor Day! I hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend and are spending the day with the ones you love and having some fun. Because the gym closes early on Labor Day they had a special class schedule so I took the 10:30am Group Power class instead of my normal 7:00pm class. It always feels weird to lift weights early in the day. I feel much more powerful later at night, but once the class started the energy kicks up and you forget that it’s only 10:30! Besides that I have nothing planned for today, just some relaxing, essay writing, and school organizing. I hate how hard it is to get new notebooks and binders at the beginning of the year! Don;t the stores know that everyone makes a mad rush for school supplies the end of August and early September. They need to do a better job of stocking up and keeping the supplies available.
On Sunday my mom, dad, and I dropped my brother off at college and helped him unpack and settle in. It was a lot different then last year, which was his first year. This year we just flew in, brought his stuff up to the dorm and while my dad helped him with cables and moving furniture, my mom and I went a picked up a few forgotten items at Target. Then we went up to say good-bye and we were off. It is always sad to come home and know he won’t be here everyday even though my brother and I don’t necessarily interact much. But he is close by and will be coming home on weekends soon enough.
So today’s Power Monday was inspired by some thinking I did over the weekend. We always hear you should live in the present, be in the moment, and enjoy everyday as it comes. If you do this you should be content, less stressed, and you will enjoy your life so much more. Just be present. But what does that actually mean? How can someone be present? Aren’t we all present, living our lives everyday, doing tangible things, and making progress on goals and activities?
The definition of present is (a person) in a particular place. Or it could mean existing or occurring now. But We all exist, we all do things “occuring” now…don’t we. So I dove deeper into these questions and started looking at how I live my life. I do of course have moments of living in the past. Sometimes I get upset about things that happened or think of ways I should have done something differently, you know, the What Ifs in life. But most of the time I am pretty good with blocking the past out. At least the bad events that I don’t want to remeber. Once I successfully don’t think about them for awhile I usually cam start to forget or accept them as events that happened but are no more. However, the good events in the past, we should always keep close to our hearts, those are the memories and events that shape us and help us to grow and love. But let’s not get hung up on them and only rember those times. We need to live presently and enjoy new experiences…by being present…
Still confused…me too. So let’s talk about the future. I know this is the state that I live in the most. I am always worried about the next thing, schedualeing the next thing, getting to the next place, eating my next meal, finishing my next project or activity, looking at what I want to do next in life. This is my major down fall. Living in the future brings so much stress to my life, but it is the only way I know how and I want to desperatly fix that. But then there is the point that you should be living in the future to and extent. You do need to plan out an outline to what you want in your future or what should what to get accomplished. Isn’t that the point of goal-setting? Working toward a goal that will be achieved in the future? And we all now how important they say having a goal is. But to what point is iving in the future harmful? I think it is the point where I am at. If you are always thinking of the next this or the next that and worrying about what is to come, you can never be trying happy and content.
So now this brings me to the state of being present. What I think it means to be present is to be aware of your actions and surroundings at that moment. When you wake-up in the morning, do you jump out of bed and sprint to get to work or school? Or do you open your eyes and take a deep breath before you start your day? When you sit down to eat dinner, do you scarf down your food and not think twice? Or do you savor each bite and appreciate the fuel you are able to provide for your body? These little things are all what being present is about. To just be aware and cognizant. Enjoy the little things in life, like the butterfly that crosses your path as you step out the door or smiling hello to the man you pass everyday on your way to the office. If we do these things we can find some simple peace in our daysand accept what comes down our path. If you put one step in front of the other and look around yourself at that moment in time you may find the strength you need from something a simple as a smile or the cup of tea you are drinking, to get you through to the next step. If you do this there will be room of memories and goal setting, but in a less stressful or harmful way.
Living in the present is a way to enjoy each moment in your life so when you look back 30 years form now you won’t feel as though you wasted you life by living in the grip of old memories or worrying about you next destitioation and not appreciateing what and where you are at that present moment. By living in the present you will find the time you spend with your family and freinds to be ever more precious and enjoyable. You will appreciate the beauty in life and what it does have to offer. That is a powerful thing and when you are able to harness that power you will relize just how much you have been missing. It may be hard at first but I think with some small steps anyone can life a little more presently. When you wake-up, take that deep breath and stretch your arms above your head before you go-go-go. Smile and wave to that stranger on the street. Say a prayer and be gratful for the food you are about to eat. Savour each bite and really taste what it is you are giving your body. Take 5 minutes at the end of the day to sit quietly and think about your day and what you were grateful for, what you could work on, and what you want to change tomorrow. Lastly, give your loved ones a hug and tell them just how much you love them everyday.
We all can be more present if we take it one day, one moment, and one step at a time.
So tell me:
Do you live in the past, present, or future?
What do you do daily to be more present in you life?