Right Here. Right Now.
WHEN life gets challenging, do you find yourself ruminating regretfully on the past – searching for reasons to justify present dissatisfactions? The anxiety producing “If only… you’d taken that job, married that person, moved countries, bought that flat, had different parents, gone to a different college, taken less drugs, taken more drugs, had more fun, travelled more, had children, not had children… This ego-inspired reasoning, which keeps us in a state of disempowerment and impotence is endless. And endlessly demotivating. And it lures us away from the immense power of being fully conscious and fully present.
Right here, right now.
Or perhaps like many of us, you prefer to focus on the future to avoid feeling any present pain. Or taking action to move out of your current unease. The “What if…. line of anxiety producing self-enquiry… What if…. I get made redundant, make the wrong decision, my boyfriend/girlfriend leaves me, choose the wrong job, it all goes terribly wrong, lose all my money, feel lonely, etc. Projecting our fear into future events, which have yet to happen.
We all, myself very much included, have constructed myriad ways of resisting the present moment. The Right Here. Right Now. The mind, ego, whatever you want to call it, invariably takes us away from true consciousness. It feeds off and promotes our fear. Controlling and self-denying, it loves the whip hand. And until we take charge of our thoughts, the CD of self-sabotage will continue to play into the sunset… like an interminable Groundhog Day (without the humour!).
Why do we avoid feeling present?
If you are a human being – and I’m assuming most of you reading this are of that persuasion – then you’ll probably find yourself taking more action to avoid pain, than taking positive action towards experiencing pleasure in life. Think about it. Sex addiction, work addiction, drug addiction – we self-medicate and self-anaesthetise to suppress painful emotions and feelings. But of course they simply go underground, emerging at inappropriate moments with the result that we often self-sabotage – in work and our personal life – the very relationships we hold most dear. Or we simply never invite them in in the first place. We avoid ‘being’.
Observe your emotions
One way I work with clients is to encourage them to feel their emotions. Not deny them. Look at the very word ‘emotion’. Motion = movement. They are simply passing through. They are not OF you. By refusing to identify with the emotions, but by simply observing them as they move through, you will become less addicted to checking out. There are many ways of staying present, with presence. The most powerful way is to focus on your breath. Put all your attention on your in – and your out breath. Practise this daily for at least 5 minutes at a time. Then any time you feel overwhelmed by emotions and feel yourself checking out, use this technique to change your state. It’s the best way to be fully present. And surrender to the moment.
Another way is to stay in your body – preferably 24/7. Use grounding exercises such as imagining heavy cords reaching from the soles of both feet down into the ground. As far as the earth’s core. Tie these cords or vines around large boulders. Then draw up that fabulous fire energy from the earth’s molten core. Visualise that energising orange, brown, red colour rising up your feet, ankles, and legs until it fills your whole body. You will feel energised and more powerfully in your body.
Give your full attention to whatever you are doing. Whether it’s watching soapsuds on a glass you’re washing up, to watching the trees on your way to work, to totally focusing on your work. Practise right here. Right now.
Give yourself permission to be increasingly creative… Write a stream of consciousness page every morning as soon as you get up. Start painting, drawing, learn a musical instrument… move your consciousness from your left to your right brain. The source of all inspiration. Play! Play! Play! Run around a field, scream and shout. Allow your inner child expression and let go! Laugh – and above all, don’t take yourself too seriously.
Being fully present will enable you to draw on unlimited inspiration. You will be able to deal with your emotions in a constructive way, instead of diving in and becoming overwhelmed by them. Unfettered by the past or future, you will access all the energy, self-awareness and clarity you need for peace of mind and a more creative and fulfilling life. Enjoy your presence!