Here and Now, the Gift of Presence
The holidays are here! Close your eyes and slowly take three, deep breathes. Now, open your eyes and remind yourself why we truly celebrate our sacred traditions. Life is precious. All things material are fleeting just like the funds in your bank account after your shopping spree. If your life seems to be running you, I have just the mental exercise for you. Take a moment and concentrate on your breathing or rub your hands together and notice the energy generated from that simple movement. For that brief instant you were in the present moment and not identified with your mind. Even kids can recognize when we’re not fully present. An example would be a parent sitting at their computer while their son or daughter repeatedly chants, “Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad,” until they have Dad’s undivided attention. Kids consciously know when their parents are giving them their full attention. (This is also true of wives when their husbands act like they’re paying attention to their conversation when, in actuality, they’re watching a football game on television.)
Time is an illusion that exists in the past or the future of the mind. Consciousness exists in the NOW. The past and the future are played out in your unconscious mind. Being present in the moment is the only place to witness consciousness. Life slips away from us when we’re fully identified with our thoughts (the mind). If you’ve ever witnessed a traumatic experience, you may have felt like time slowed down. What happens in those instances is you’re pulled out of your unconscious state and are fully present and experiencing all your sensory perceptions. Welcome to the fully present moment!
So much of our lives are spent thinking about yesterday or worrying about tomorrow that we end up missing out on smelling the roses, standing in the rain or playing peek-a-boo with a toddler. Be fully present today. It’s a priceless gift to give yourself and to share with others that won’t cost you a dime!
*Originally published in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday, December 24, 2017