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Posts Tagged ‘now’

Present

I am finally remembering how to be present. Like all of us, presence came naturally to me as a child. But eventually, the voices of past and future wound their way into my head – sometime around middle school. These voices gradually took over my ship, and after that, presence became more rare.

That is, until recently. Last week, I remembered presence in its absolute state. And I felt how euphoric it is.

We hear all the time that it’s important to be present. But it can remain an abstract concept. It became clear to me by experiencing its opposite.

I had been learning about the brain from Dr. Jill Taylor’s incredible book My Stroke of Insight. I began to really recognize my left mind. I started becoming hyper aware of the negative and positive loops it was creating – the evaluations of worry and doubt, and reassurance. As I became conscious of this, I got a bit depressed. It was as though the chatter knew that it was being noticed and began posing for the camera. It took over, and I felt stuck.

But then I remembered what Dr. Taylor had written: “It is liberating to know that I have the ability to choose a peaceful and loving mind (my right mind), whatever my physical or mental circumstances, by deciding to step to the right and bring my thoughts back to the present moment.” Little by little, it became obvious to me that I could ignore my left brain by focusing my energy on it’s opposite – the right brain. I could simply be present with joy in the moment, and it would be waiting here for me to choose at any time. I knew that I could decide to love my life right now, regardless of anything else around me. I had the ability to stop spinning stories and simply be, and I could always give myself this gift.

So there I was, feeling very isolated in my own brain, and I decided to choose that moment. I decided right then and there that, instead of tackling all the work on my plate that morning, I was going to (for the first time) practice yoga outside in the garden! I placed the yoga mat down on the pebble path (surprisingly comfortable) and began stretching and breathing. I felt peaceful almost immediately, and downright giddy just by having made this choice. I saw the crescent moon in the silvery sky and gazed at the vibrant green trees. I felt the early summer breeze and smelled the honey scent of pink phlox growing right next to me. I saw the golden sunlight through the leaves and heard the soft songs of birds. I experienced tranquility and the humming energy of all life.

I felt this beauteous scene with my whole being so that I was unified with it. I knew the secret of the universe within my soul, without the articulation of reason. There was no more important moment in my entire life than now. This blissful energy carried me for the rest of the day, and I feel it still.

And now I know that the purest joy I can give myself is the present moment. I think it’s about recognizing the deep connection we have to everything, instead of the conditioned things we tend to focus on in the “real world.” It’s about taking time instead of rushing. I can choose to watch the sun rise with my morning tea, create something in my work that harnesses the artists’ zone, and get lost in play with my children. I can give myself the moment in the car while driving somewhere (which is so symbolic of the journey), exchange the magic of presence with other people, and cherish the love right now with loved ones who remind me of this all the time.

I am finding that the bliss of presence is contagious to other moments – that it builds as I seek out more and more of them. I think presence is the mindfulness and magic behind ceremony and parties. It is the sacred in all of our experiences.

If you haven’t already today, give yourself the gift of being in the moment, right now. Do something magical just for you, and for no one else. Choose joy, and feel the spiritual breath of yourself and of all life. This feeling is always here.

Presence is the deep peace and euphoria that comes naturally to our souls. It is the opposite of accomplishing something, and yet it is the greatest accomplishment you will ever know. It is fully living life by simply being here, right now.

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