There is a gift, a free gift, awaiting all of us. It is called, “The Present,” and what a precious gift it is… hence the cheesy quip, “That’s why they call it the “present”.
I rarely open it. Instead, I prefer to feed the Beast called “Anxiety” by catastrophising about the future. Or, I’ll turn my attention one-hundred-and-eighty-degrees around to the past and feed the Beast called “Guilt”. Happy little bunny, aren’t I?
The way out is here, now.
If, perchance, you suffer from similar future and past afflictions, here are three ways to find solace in the gift of the present, right here, right now.
Yes, it’s a wonderful idea to keep breathing! It’s even more wonderful to become consciously aware
of your breathing. The Breath of Life is one of the great metaphors for living, so giving your attention
fully to your breathing is a great way to re-attune yourself to the Rhythm of Life.
What I love about this is that no Yoga or other PhysioPsychological discipline is necessary to learn (good though that may well be). No, it’s merely a question of paying attention to inhalation and exhalation… the rising and falling of your chest, or abdomen, or shoulders, or whatever your attention discovers!
We can make it complex but the easiest way is to put your hands together on your tummy, close your eyes, and notice your breathing. Ten in and outs is usually enough to ‘centre’ you in the here and now.
2 I Am Sensing…
“I Am,” is the definitive tense for the present… that’s why it’s called the Present Tense! Visions of the Future and the Past happen with inner senses, but the Present is safely external.
Say to yourself, “I am seeing…” and fill in the gap.
Say to yourself, “I am hearing…” and finish the sentence or sentences that will answer your statement.
Say out loud to yourself, “I am feeling…” then touch something. We aren’t talking about feeling emotions here, we’re talking about stroking wood - a table top, a counter, a cupboard, a tree.
Say out loud to yourself, “I am smelling…” then take a good deep breath in and notice what you can smell.
Finally, “I am tasting…” and lick your teeth, becoming aware of any tastes on your tongue.
Here’s a really cool truth - if you can’t smell or taste anything specific, you still have to have been here now to discover that!
3 I Am Listening…
When with other people, there’s a great technique I call, “The Slap-Back Echo.” It’s like a 1950’s guitar effects pedal that quickly echoed the note played. Think Surf Music! I find that if I rapidly repeat what people are saying in my head, this helps me focus both on them and stay in the ‘now’. There’s no space for me to be thinking about what I’m going to say next!
If you’re anxious about the future - come here, now!
If you’re feeling regrets or guilt about the past - come here now!
Now is a good place to be.
Right here, right now.
A Moodscope member.