If there is one thing that has changed my life over the past three years, it’s the practice of being HYPER-present.
I’m sure you’ve heard all the modern-spiritual-jive about being present and in the moment and the Power of Now in so many of the self-help, pseudo-spiritual, life-bettering quotables that scroll endlessly in handletterered art on Instagram and what-which. And don’t you just love it? I do. I’m pecan-sandies for it.
And I was driving home in my Swim Taxi the other day, I found myself caught up in a mind-tornado. You know… when you’re driving somewhere and all of the sudden you’re 10 miles down the road and not sure WHO was taking the wheel because it certainly couldn’t have been you? I blinked and realized I was no where near being present at that moment.
You can be happy without being present, but you can’t be present without being happy.
Rather, I was trying to think of ways that I could be happier. And I know in my rapidly increasing 40s that looking for happiness is great and all, but it’s kind of like greasing up your hands with butter-flavored shortening and chasing a likewise greased up cat on the run from a herd of 12 year old boys all named Brendan…. Who by the way, fractured his wrist skating last Friday night and is now beautifully bound up with a florescent orange cast and relegated to dry land for at least two weeks. No Age Group Swimming Championship for him this spring. 🙁
So, when I realized what the rabbit hole I was sliding around in, I stopped. And I got really, really present in what I was doing. Like I was feeling my hands on the toasty, heated steering wheel and noticing the wheat colored waves of overgrown grass in the fields running backwards beside me. And all of that noticing did something miraculous.
It was as if I had been transported from the whirlwind of mental chaos to the calm and peaceful eye of the ego’s hurricane. I realized, once again, that being present is truly, unequivocally better than spending hard-fought energy trying to figure out how to be happier. That being in the moment is what throws heart-doors open and lets the light of joy just slide right on in. Sorta like a big rushing wave of chocolate-flavored serenity.
Because the truth of the matter is, you can be happy without being present, but you can’t be present without being happy.
So, this week, I want you to try it. Try getting uber-present. Yes, think about what you need to do when it’s time to think about it. But the rest of the ticking-tocks, just be aware of where you are, fully present in what you are doing, while you notice the glory and gushing of life that swirls around you. It’s those moments of awakening that bring some otherworldly meaning to life.
And who doesn’t want more of that in their buffet of otherwise ordinary, day-to-day experience?
And boy does it help with the stress of children who miss application deadlines. If you missed my melt-down last time, I assure you it’s quite a read.
Here’s to being present.