Practicing the Present

Present:   being, existing, or occuring at this time now.
In this crazy, 24/7, non-stop media, facebook, twittering frenzy world it is hard sometimes not to be distracted.  Incredibly hard sometimes.  Add something difficult in life and become even more scattered or frenzied.  There have been times in my life where I have been completely fractured and really only paying attention to the distractions.  And there have been times when I’ve been completely self-obsessed to the point of not being able to hear the other person who is in the room.   There have also been times where my pain was louder than anything else. It’s those times that being present with what is actually brings more peace than trying to out-think, solutionize or rationalize.

Coming from those experiences, I have learned to watch out for different things and practice being present for each and every moment.  When I am in conversation with someone and my brain is rattling off things that I want to say or comments or being whitty or sarcastic, if I can stop and pause for a moment before I say something, I am more aware of my ego trying to speak.  Instead of obsessively thinking about a problem, I find some gratitude for what I currently have in my life.  When I am unhappy or angry with a situation, I step back and look at it and ask myself “Am I frustrated because I am afraid and responding from a place that doesn’t have anything to do with today?”  Taking that pause, stepping back, doesn’t make me ineffective, it creates space for me to pay attention to what is going on right at that moment.  And it gives me space to respond differently and look differently at my current set of circumstances.  If I take a moment to pause, I become more aware of what is and not what things should be.   In yogic philosophy this is the practice of Santosha or contentment.  And sometimes, what is is not such a bad place to be.  

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