Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Being Present in the Moment

Toddlers and preschoolers are so awesome!  They have few filters in place, speak from the heart and live in the moment.  My granddaughter doesn't hesitate to tell me what she needs or thinks; even when my breath stinks!  She has encouraged me to be more aware of "living in the moment."

Being real isn't something we do easily or well.  It doesn't feel safe.  No one else seems to be having doubts, or feeling unloved, or unworthy.  Because we believe everyone else's mask we put on one too.

What does it take to live in the moment, to be "present?"  Some thoughts:  First, it means that you allow yourself to "see", i.e. use all your senses to see what is happening around you.  Notice that look your Uncle is sending you; sense the atmosphere around your friend; hear the tone of someone's voice. 

Second, know what you are seeing.  Your brain has an amazing catalog of information you've learned and or experienced.  You do have knowledge that can "read" that look from Uncle Jim or the tone your mother is using.  Let yourself "know" what you already "know."  Recognize and validate what you are experiencing - know it.

Third, feel how this moment is impacting you.  This is the hot spot for most of us - we don't like to feel our reaction to experiences. Make no mistake, emotional responses are so important to acknowledge!  You are having emotions, and if not acknowledged, their energy will store inside and cause you problems later. My disclaimer:  sometimes it isn't safe to express the emotion in the situation, but notice it, and process it later.

Fourth, as you remain connected and present in the moment, you can respond, and not react.  When you aren't grounded in the current experience, internal filters or beliefs are in charge.  That means you will be reacting out of those and not responding.

The most important thing to remember is this:  Not being authentic means that you may leave someone else feeling isolated in their reality, wondering if anyone else cares or knows how they are.