When we talk about being present, it sounds easier than it is. It is not that it is difficult, it is that we start off in the present and then begin our time travels as we tell our story. For example, the first question I ask when we begin our love and inspiration gatherings is how are you doing today and/or what are you dealing with today? So often, what happens is someone may begin with what they are dealing with today. However, then we travel into the past to hear the explanation of how the person got into this situation or what they have learned from the past. Sometimes we travel to the future and talk about what the person would like to see happen next or what they would like the outcome to be. I laugh as I write this because I know that there have been times in our gatherings that I have done my own share of time traveling and not being present. I would like to say that I was not as present as I could be, but one is either present or not.
So often, we move through life not being here and now and not even knowing we are not in the here and now. Several years ago, my spiritual director suggested that I keep a here and now journal to help me become more mindful and focused on being in the here and now. I would take time to write in my journal what I was experiencing at that very moment. I had to write with all my senses. I wrote about what I was seeing, smelling, hearing, touching, and tasting. I would journal about all my senses and my feelings. I would journal about any emotional reaction I was having. Sometimes I would list and write. Other times I would just journal about the impressions that were in my spirit and sometimes I would just doodle or draw because I did not have the words to capture what I was feeling in the here and now.
An acquaintance of mine does something similar. He sets his alarm to go off every hour and he then asks himself what am I feeling right now. No major processing, just what am I feeling in the here and now. I have been doing the same thing with my body. I have set my alarm to go off every 90 minutes during the day to remind me to get present with my body and what it is feeling and then I walk up and down the hallway with my walker. When I am feeling up to it, I do a second lap. It is all about being in the here and now and listening to what my body is telling me at the moment.
So how are you doing right now? What are you willing to work on doing to help you stay in the here and now?