What does it mean to be present?
Updated: Mar 5
Realise that the present moment is all you have – Eckhart Tolle
We've all heard our loved ones console us with the same words:
“All you have is this moment. Don’t let it slip away.”
“Don’t get caught up in your head - live in the now!”
“Be present in your own life.”
They mean well. There is power in the simple practice of grounding ourselves and surrendering to the present moment.
It's okay to get caught up...
Living in today's world, we are all busy. There’s always something coming up that we need to prepare for or anticipate, and our lives are so well-documented that it’s never been easier to get lost in the past.
It's important to break out of your cycle...
Given the fast pace and hectic schedules most of us keep, a base level of anxiety, stress, and unhappiness is the new norm. You may not even realise it, but this tendency to get sucked into the past and the future can leave you perpetually worn out and feeling out of touch with yourself.
Stay in the now.
Living in the present moment is the solution to a problem you may not have known you had.
You might be thinking that this all sounds great, but what does it actually mean to “live in the present moment?” How could we be living in anything but the present?
Living in the present is not just a popular phrase, it’s a recognised and evidence backed lifestyle that psychologists are quick to recommend for those struggling with anxiety and stress in their day to day life.
The world's religions all recommend living in the moment with full awareness.
Zen Buddhism especially is known for its emphasis on "nowness."
Hindu, Taoist, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and other teachers urge us to make the most of every day as an opportunity that will not come to us again.
Being in the present moment, or the “here and now,” means that we are aware and mindful of what is happening at this very moment.
We are not distracted by our deepest thoughts of the past or worries about the future, but centred in the here and now.
All of our attention is focused on the present moment.
The present moment is the only thing where there is no time. It is the point between past and future. It is always there and it is the only point we can access in time.
Everything that happens, happens in the present moment. Everything that ever happened and will ever happen can only happen in the present moment. It is impossible for anything to exist outside of it.
So let's take a moment right now.
Pause, and consciously take a breath. Notice the information that you are sensing right now. Step by step just go through your senses. All five of them.
Observe your surroundings, what can you see?
Your room, your office or are you outdoors, just observe. Apart from the large objects, check out the smaller things as well. One of my favourite pastimes was to sit at a café and observe the people around.
What sounds can you hear?
There are immediate noises that one can hear, but just allow yourself to hear, close your eyes. What else can you hear? Myself while writing this article, the immediate sound is the traffic outside. But when I close my eyes, I can hear birds chirping, the soft rain and a gathering of children from the primary school around the corner as it’s their lunch time.
How about the sense of smell, what can you smell right now?
The most obvious for me is my coffee and the aroma of my cooking. But what about the other odours? I can smell wet smoke, its raining and someone is burning wood. Practice is important, these senses that we have been blessed with since the dawn of time have become somewhat dormant.
As I sip my coffee, we come to our next sense, the Sense of taste.
Taste is one of the most used and yet it’s the one that is less observed. When was the last time you ate and observed the texture of food, the burst of flavours or lack of it. We are so preoccupied with time that we bypass observing and just rapidly consume our food and drinks. All because we believe it is necessary to live and nothing more.
Then there is Touch - as I touch type, I feel the keys under my fingers.
But touch is not only for our hands and fingers. We can feel on our largest organ, our skin. That beautiful layer that wraps our soul. Consider how you feel the clothes on your skin, the shoes on your feet. How about when you are outside feeling the breeze or the rain?
Mindful living promotes living in the present moment. It’s when we focus on the present moment, whether it be talking to someone, driving your car, or eating our food. In no way does it mean we disconnect from the bigger picture of our life. It’s about having that sense of purpose and setting goals, elements that give our life meaning. Its finding that balance whilst focusing on the NOW.
So how do I achieve this in my day to day life?
Can it be so easy you ask?
When was the last time you had an outing with a friend and that mobile phone was not on the table? It’s so easy to be distracted with notifications that we end up miss out the opportunity to have a deep and meaningful conversation.
It’s those little moments you decide to take that can make all difference in your life.
It takes practice and remembering to be compassionate with yourself. It also is about being open minded to the beautiful possibilities that may occur. What we may have planned may not always turn out how we expect.
The Key is to not to be attached to the outcome and be open minded to the possibilities that may arise.
All it takes is one moment at a time, one moment in a day, one moment in an hour.
Are you ready to choose your moment?
Get in touch with our friendly team to book a 1:1 mindfulness consultation so we can help you uncover your inner light. This may be through meditation, aromatouch massage, reflexology and more. We'll work it out together.
Phoenix Healing Touch
Owner, Head Healer
0416 121 948