There’s no in between. There’s no, “I was kind of present” or , “a part of me was there, but a part of me was somewhere else.” You’re either in the moment, or you’re missing out on the moment. Your mind is either fully in your body wrapped up in the awe and wonder of what is happening in that exact present moment, or it’s somewhere else. It’s on food, or sex, or money, or what people think of you, or how you look, or anything else that is you not taking that moment in, and learning from it.
As a society we have become obsessed with this idea of “living presently”, “being #mindful”, or being “self aware”. But what does that even mean? Are you actually “aware” of your actions every hour, minute… second of the day? Are you in control of WHAT your mind is thinking, or HOW it’s thinking? If you’re wearing a shirt that says something like “be mindful” or “meditate don’t medicate” or “be the light”, I sure hope so. (Shots fired!! 😉 )
*I hope you’re really listening to what your friends and family are saying. I hope you’re recycling when you can, or picking up a piece of trash on the hike that you Instagrammed. I hope you’re being kind to strangers, and chatting with the cashier not because you want to hear yourself talk, but because you want to make someone’s day a little bit better. I hope you’re making connections with people to really connect, and get to know them for who they are, rather than for what they can do for you. I hope you’re saying things that are honest and true to what you think and feel deep down inside. I hope you’re not being an asshole. period. (lol but seriously). I hope you’re being kind. And I hope that if you say you want to live more presently, then you’re really doing it. ***
The problem with “living presently” is that you don’t really get to choose to live in only “the great moments.” You have to practice living presently in ALLL the moments. The moments that suck, that are sad, that are painful, that are scary, that are boring, that are tiring… allll of the moments. Because if you want to enjoy and be present in the good moments, whether that’s when you’re surrounded by friends and family, or alone hiking a mountain, you need to be present in the bad moments too. In fact, those are great learning and growing moments.
Because really, you’re training your brain. You’re training your mind to be here and now. You’re training it to think about what YOU want it to be thinking about or focusing on. Not bombarding it with other people’s thoughts, captions, ideas, inventions. If you’re not choosing your thoughts, chances are your mind is running all over the place and you’re living in this slightly unconscious way where there’s no real purpose to anything you’re doing. But when you ARE choosing your thoughts, then you’re choosing your actions. And when you’re choosing your actions, you’re choosing who YOU want to be and how you want to show up in the world. What kind of person do you want to be? And when you’re choosing who you want to be, you’re becoming who you’re meant to be, not what society has told you to be. Because what if society wasn’t actually right about some of the things it tells us to be/do? Frankly, there’s a lot of societal values that take humans away from living out our fullest potential and keeping us from living abundant and soul fulfilling lives.
When you sit down to meditate, you’re training yourself to come back to here. To come back to now. To focus on your breath or your mantra or whatever you do to keep yourself present. And when you’re in the now, that’s the magic! That’s when you decide what you want to do, who you want to be, or how you want to FEEL in that moment. Because don’t you want to FEEL GOOD in life? I know I do.
*** I wrote this blog like I’ve mastered it… and I just want to take a second to acknowledge that’s not entirely true. Haha. Sometimes I feel like I’m pretty good at it, until something happens when I’m reactive or get sad or mad or realize I wasn’t fully listening to my friend, and then in the next morning’s meditation, I’m like “why wasn’t I more present?!” I understand the theory, but the practice is putting it into action. But at least I really AM meditating every day. Maybe eventually I’ll be “here” all of the time. *** #enlightenment!! lol.