Monday, February 9, 2009

Be Present

I have had the opportunity to read several books on living in the now and the how's and why's of being present. I think Eckhart Tolle's comment in Stillness Speaks stands out: "True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found".

Being present has to do with right now, not regrets from the past or anxiety for the future. It's amazing thinking back to all the things that I - for whatever reason - spent wasted energy fretting about. All the time I spent worrying about the past or the future resulted in losing precious present moments. Ironically, all the things I worried about were irrelevant and inconsequential. The only thing that matters is living or being - focusing on what's happening in the Now.

So what does the phrase "be present" really mean? To me, it means getting out of my head and focusing on just being a human being, not doing anything. It's that feeling of bliss you find when you are meditating, practicing yoga or just focusing on something (athletes call it "being in the zone".) without thinking.

So, what techniques can help help you be present?

Here are my top 10 ways to stay present:

1. Think less. Feel more. This is called "getting out of your head".
2. Focus on something or someone.
3.Practice Conscious Breathing. Take deep breaths regularly throughout the day. Breathe in for a count of 10. Breathe out for a count of 10.
4. Meditate.
5. Practice yoga.
6. Exercise regularly.
7. Get out into nature - walk with your dog, take a hike, go to a botanical garden, etc.
8. Help someone.
9. Be open-minded about solutions and ideas. See things from a different perspective.
10.Write in a journal.

How do you stay present?

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