cheerful sportswoman meditating in lotus pose with son

The Art of Being Present

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

It can be challenging to find the present moment. Our minds are often racing, our bodies restless. It seems that, at times, we are constantly thinking about what we need to do next. Or our mind drifts to what has happened in the past that has led us here. The art of mindfulness is one way to combat this habitual state of mind and get back into the present moment – to be here, now, in this moment, where possibility can exist.

Five Steps to Engage the Present

  • Consider what brought you to this moment. Think about any regrets or “if only” statements. Allow yourself a few moments to self-reflect before moving on to the next segment. Give yourself this space, and assure yourself that it’s okay!
  • Reflect upon a dream’s calling. Dreams are dreams for a reason – they inspire us. If we have an idea that fills our minds with wonder and excitement, be sure to find practical ways for which it can come true. Create the end goal, break it down by steps, and advance confidently in that direction.
  • Remember, Lao Tsu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step.- With your past honored and given its space, and a future dream in hand, create the space needed to take that first step. You don’t need to know exactly how it’s going to unfold; sometimes, all you need is ten minutes of mindfulness within your day, where you sit quietly without distractions to breathe deeply into your body and relax as much as possible. Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein did this to boost their creativity. It is from this place that the avenue to the dream unfolds.
  • Throughout the day, bring yourself back to the present moment. Remember, the dream is a marker. But the steps are mini-markers to chart your progress. A thousand miles does not happen in one leap. It takes consistent efforts to attain its presence. Being mindful of this while consistently achieving one step in front of the other will create the movement necessary for the journey. Taking the first step is the catalyst for every additional step, allowing the person to be in the present moment. If your mind drifts into future or past thoughts, return it to what’s happening in the present moment.
  • At night, journal to reflect upon your day’s events – the good, the bad, and even the ugly. The practice of self-reflection allows us to look at things from varying perspectives which can often bring about new awareness within ourselves that we may not have realized existed otherwise.

By engaging these five steps, you will be able to use self-reflection and mindfulness as a means to live in the present moment. Our learning journey is lifelong, and we have a lifetime of memories to perfect its aim. Ask yourself, what story do you want to have told of your life at your eulogy? What steps can you take today to ensure that becomes a reality.

As always, my friends, namaste. May blessings find you on your journey to advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.

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