‘Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience’- Jon Kabat Zinn
Being present or mindful means…
Being alive, centered, peaceful, and connected to the moment.
It’s a full activation of your senses in the here and now.
Over the past few years, I have heard and read about the magic of being present in the moment.
How this practice can quiet our minds from the external noise around us which is designed to seep into our thoughts and distract us from planning and executing our goals and dreams.
But this practice is easier said than done. It seems simple, but it’s not easy.
It appears despite our honest intentions; we are caught in reactive traps.
Meaning we are constantly in reactive mode in our minds and not feeling centered or peaceful or connected to the moment.
On the most basic level, we struggle as humans to focus on one thing – a conversation, a meeting, a project, a task without distraction, without wanting to be somewhere else or restless or lost in our own thoughts.
For example, visualize or think about the last time you commuted to work.
What were you thinking about?
- Was it your 9:00am meeting? (Future)
- Your lunch time activity? (Future)
- Your formal discussion with your boss later that day? (Future)
- How the discussion with your boss was a disaster last week? (Past)
- Your project deadline and how you are going to miss it? (Future)
- Thinking about what happened the last time you were late to work and how negatively your colleagues reacted? (Past)
The above example shows we are constantly living or thinking about the past and the future.
We allow our ‘drama’ minds to consume our thoughts.
This only causes worry because we are not in control.
‘Do not dwell on the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment’-Buddha.
If you are living in the past, you are rehashing the things that happened to you which are most likely negative or uncomfortable.
In fact, our brains become out of control with the noise of the past.
So, thinking about the past by replaying past situations over and over stops us from being fully present.
Being present in the moment sometimes can conflict with our planning for the future.
So, we simulate future scenarios, thinking about random and arbitrary things that are not in our control.
Then we become anxious or worried because we are anticipating what’s coming or almost wishing for things that aren’t happening yet.
Therefore, thinking about the future is also sabotaging our ability to be present in the moment.
When your mind is cluttered by being consumed in your thinking about the past and the future…
YOU ARE ALLOWING THE MOMENT TO OWN YOU!
Think about finally owning the moment, so you are in control of the present.
Being in the present is where you will feel the most at ease and where happiness and peace flourish.
How do you become more mindful in your daily life?
How does this look in reality?
Being present is the skill of having your thoughts be literally in the moment.
When you cultivate the skill of being present, you maximize your results for any given pursuit by using mental strength.
The result of mindfulness also extends to our relationships because we become more grounded and thoughtful when interacting with others.
This is because you are no longer giving your power over to your thoughts of the past and the future.
This week’s book recommendation comes from Jon Kabat Zinn, the father of mindfulness.
His book Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment offers a simple, yet effective way to capture to study, and execute being present as a practice.
You can review or purchase the book, using the amazon link below:
Here are 2 ways to start living in the moment:
- PRACTICE MINDFUL EATING
Of course, as humans, we eat food on a daily basis and so this simple act can be our most reliable tool when trying to cultivate mindfulness.
- How many times have we stuffed food into our mouths without even really tasting it? Or…
- Have you thought about the past or future when eating? This can happen when eating alone or with company.
- Are you eating on autopilot between meetings or at red lights in the car?
The next time you are eating a meal, slow down and think about the food you are eating. Think about the people you are sitting with and how you feel about them.
You can even take this experience a step further and acknowledge the cook for their hard work preparing the meal.
When we connect with the practice of mindful eating, we engage all of our senses and actually savor and enjoy the meal as part of our day. Eating is something we experience daily, so it’s a simple time to start encouraging this practice so it becomes a habit.
‘Nothing is more precious than being in the present moment. Fully alive, fully aware.’-Nhat Hanh
2. THE POWER OF OBSERVATION
‘The point of power is always in the present moment.’-Louise Hay
In order to feel connected to the moment, I recommend performing real-time and consistent check in’s about where you are, your environment, and your impulses.
To try and activate your full senses in the moment, be intentional about your next social outing.
For example, if you are at a restaurant, don’t rush in, greet your friend/family, and immediately order off the menu.
Instead, activate your consciousness by…
- Taking a deep breath intentionally and smelling the food.
- Look around at the people eating.
- Be curious when looking at the setting/environment…what’s the color on the walls?
- Observe how you are interacting with others?
- How do you feel right now?
- How am I speaking with the people at my table?
The more you observe yourself, the more you will catch yourself when you become embroiled with toxic thoughts about the past, future, or any negative or frustrating feelings.
You will begin to control your narrative and own the moment.
The times you catch yourself drifting into the past or future is a moment of tremendous power because you have interrupted the pattern and are now in control of the present – you woke up and are now grounded in the moment.
In summary, I believe cultivating mindfulness and/or being fully present is a superpower!
Without deliberate effort, our mind is free to do whatever it wants.
Our superpower is that we have the ability to constantly remind ourselves to come back to the present moment and refocus on the here and now.
Being present means staying in a healthy relationship with your own life where you are alive in the moment.
You believe the future hasn’t happened and the past is over.
Get better at being in the present…
And you will master everything in your life!
Our VictoryPivot team is dedicated to providing quality content that will enhance your online knowledge and skillsets and improve your mindset to become a better version of you!
PS- Make sure to also join us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter community: @VictoryPivot to get your daily dose of positivity!
PSS- Once you subscribe to www.victorypivot.com every Friday, VictoryPivot will provide FREE resources such as:
- Life Hacks
These tools will help you grow, reach higher heights so you can become the best version of you!
I sincerely wish you the best on your journey to enhance your life!
George Andreas, Founder