Tis the season for family, tradition, memories of years past, reflecting on the year that is ending, and setting goals for the year that is about to come. For me, that has meant a daily struggle to stay present with what is Here. Right. Now.
Last night I found myself sitting in the living room gazing at our gorgeous Christmas tree trying to memorize every ornament, every twinkling light, and all of the warm fuzzy feelings being evoked by this moment. My thoughts went something along the lines of:
Everything is temporary. Who knows where I will be living, what I will be doing, or how I will be feeling next Christmas. That is terrifying. I better hold tight to this moment, cling tightly to these good feelings, as if my future depends on it.
But here’s the rub …. it doesn’t work that way. The more tightly we try to hold on to any particular moment, thing, or person, the further we move away from actually being present with what is Here. Right. Now.
Moving Back into the Present
Given our tendency as human beings to spend so much time in the past or future, how do we go about learning to shift our focus back into the present moment? Some things I’m currently trying:
- Noticing my breath. Slowing it down. Paying attention to what happens (or doesn’t happen) as air moves in and out of my body.
- Noticing my body. Feeling the weight of my feet on the ground. Feeling the strength of my muscles. Paying attention to the connection between my body and the earth.
- Getting curious. Observing things and feelings as if for the first time. Practicing letting go of my desire to have all the information and answers. Surrendering to what is there.
- Turning it upside down. When all else fails, nothing brings me into the present like kicking up into a handstand!
How about you? How do you shift your focus to the present?