How Often Are You Truly Present?

spring birdPractice presence.
Stay in the Present.
Be present.

If you’re anything like me you find this to be an elusive goal.

This presence thing has become a bit of a cliché for those of us who are spiritual seekers. Sure, sure, I want to fully experience the present moment – but there’s so much to DO! And I must plan out when and how I will do it.

It turns out I’m addicted to these mental acrobatics.

Recently I’ve become aware that most of my mental activity is devoted to thinking about what I want to do (and there are SO many things!), figuring out how it will all fit in (it never does!) and reviewing past evidence supporting why it will or will not work out.

This is definitely not supporting my intention to experience the present.

All of this even happens – or especially happens – when I am supposedly meditating. I’m the poster child for that cartoon picture of the guy sitting on the cushion, legs crossed, hands in Om position, and a thought bubble above his head that says something like, Breathing in, Breathing Out… oh, that reminds me….

Pretty much the story of my life — everything reminds me of something else. And then my mind is racing off to the new distraction, leaving a trail of forgotten mental and physical objects in my wake.

And then I remember.

And I take a deep breath, then another. This anchors me back into the here and now. Suddenly I notice my body sensations. I hear the calling of the birds outside my window. I smell the aroma of raindrops evaporating on the leaves. A stillness and a peace descends.

Here’s what I know now for sure: Those mini moments of presence are Enough. No need to wish I got there more often. No need to berate myself for how much time I spend in spin mode. I can let go of comparing myself to Eckhart Tolle, or my friend who experiences epic meditations, or the person who wrote the book I wish I’d written.

All I need to do take a breath.

And in that moment I get it: when I accept ME, than I can allow presence.

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