The power of the present moment, and 3 ways to bring more presence into your life.
First start by asking yourself these 3 questions, do you:
- Get to the end of the day and find it hard to recall what you did that day?
- Walk into a room and can’t remember why you walked in there in the first place?
- Drive or walk somewhere and then can’t remember anything about the journey?
If you said yes to all the above, let that be a wake-up call, as it was for me a few years ago.
I have always been very goal-focused and looked to the future for fulfilment,
I would say things like…
“When I get xxx I will be happy”
“When I earn this much money, I will take time off.”
Have you ever said these words?
Maybe you’re someone who lives in the past—reminiscing about the good old days.
You may have found yourself saying;
“I remember when.”
“Things were different in my day.”
As I sat down to write this, I began to realise how often we live in the past or look to the future, and rarely focus on the only thing that matters, the here and now.
With mental health on the rise and depression, burnout, anxiety all having an impact on our happiness, could it be our lack of awareness in the present that is causing us all these problems?
When you recall a beautiful memory, I am sure you can remember how you felt, who you were with, what was happening, where you were, and all the beauty that surrounded you. The reason that experience has become such a powerful memory is that you were fully present in that moment.
It took me a long time to realise just how much of life I was missing out on as I was so caught up in tomorrows demands, meetings and to-do lists.
It was when I started to practise mindfulness that life became more meaningful and exciting.
I remember taking my dog for a walk around the same park I had strolled in hundreds of times, but now I was paying attention. I was aware, present and not in my own head.
As I walked around the park, I began to notice trees, flowers and things I had not seen before, hear children playing and the laughter of their parents. It was like I had woken up from a dream and finally, I was awake.
The joy and fulfilment I felt that day was like no other, and I have made it my mission since to be more present in my daily life and not miss out on all the incredible moments that are happening every minute.
If you are ready to bring more presence into your life, then follow in my footsteps as I share what I did to gain more joy and abundance in every moment.
1. Slow down.
When we stop to pause and connect to our breath, it quickly re-centres us. Once we have taken a moment to slow down, start looking around and really take in what you see and hear. You will be amazed at all the sounds you can hear, and the sights you see.
Life is getting busier. We have 24/7 access to the news, emails, social media and it’s not going to stop, which is why it is even more important to take time each day to pause, take a breath and reset.
How often do we go from one task to the next without breaking to take the time to reset our intentions so we can show up as our best selves?
They say slow down to speed up. I personally don’t think we need to speed up, I think we need to get better at prioritising our day and seeking clarity around what really matters.
In my experience to get clear on what it is, we truly want, we must first slow down and reflect on what’s important to us and why.
A good place to start is by asking yourself these questions;
- Am I missing out on life’s precious moments?
- Am I busy being busy or do I need to seek more clarity around what I want and why it is important to me right now?
2. Start a gratitude journal
“I will be happy when…..”
Unfortunately, people who say this, (and I am speaking from experience here) will never be happy if they keep thinking this way.
There is no doubt about it, happiness, joy and abundance all come from being fully present in the NOW.
If you cant be grateful for all you have now, why do you think you would be any happier when you acquire all the things you think, will bring you joy?
“But what if my life sucks right now Georgie I hear you ask!”
There is always something to be grateful for!
Whenever I have been unhappy in life, it is mainly due to the fact I was focusing on things that were outside of my control.
It was when I sat back and asked myself this question.
“What can I do NOW to take action to change this situation, what can I influence?”
I realised that a lot of the problems I was currently experiencing was brought on my myself and my own negative thoughts.
It was when I decided to take responsibility, focus on what I could influence that I took back control and began to make big changes.
I also began a gratitude practise that I have repeated daily for the past two years.
A useful tip;
When I was starting this practice, I set the alarm for 6 pm, so I would remember to sit down and write out three things that I was grateful for, either in that moment or from the experiences of the day.
Doing this brought in a deeper sense of awareness and presence, as I started to notice more things, people and experiences to be grateful for.
Remember this; gratitude comes before joy.
3. Make it a habit to become more mindful
Throughout the day, take a moment to pause and become more aware of how you are feeling at different moments.
This is a powerful exercise and will help build your self-awareness.
Be mindful when you are eating, walking, or even typing on the keyboard.
I started with eating.
Every time I ate something I would put my phone down, walk away from my desk and focus on the delicious food in front of me.
I would mentally say, thank you for all the goodness and energy it was providing for my body.
You can do this with your morning coffee as well, really taste it! I used to glug it down and not savour the moment.
Now, my morning coffee has become one of the highlights of my day and sometimes makes my gratitude list (especially Melbourne coffee)
Bringing more awareness into our daily tasks will help build presence and with that more joy.
We are here on this earth for such a short time, each day savour the moments, have an attitude of gratitude, and remember to slow down and breath.
With love and gratitude.