Be present. This was the meditation theme for last night and it definitely stuck with me. We live in a time that we thrive on hustle and bustle, every day is filled with appointments, meetings, traffic, kids, and on and on. We have a phone attached to our hands, belts and heads. This device buzzes with texts, messages and voicemails, constantly notifying us of things we have to do, people we have to talk to and new things to read, watch and buy. Social interaction and information is constant and it is hard to pull away from the busyness of life. With so much to do, we seem to completely bypass and miss the little things, the moments that count, and the amazing things that are all around us, even take for granted the most mundane things we do in every day life. So how do we be right here, right now? How do we just be?
Stop and notice your surroundings. We are all human, we all have good days and bad, so when you think things are bad just take a break. Stop what you’re doing and notice your self, your being, how you feel, and what is happening around you. Go for a walk outside, write in a journal or do something you enjoy to remove yourself from your current setting.
Definitely do not pick up your phone and start scrolling the latest and greatest on the news/social media. There is no bigger time suck than the internet and although most of us decompress by doing something on our phone, it actually does quite the opposite, because our phone is a stimulant. It literally keeps us awake and alert, causing our brains to generate more and more activity. So put your phone, computer, ipad, whatever tech toy you may have- put it away. No distractions allows your brain to be quiet and really enjoy peace.
Focus on breath
In meditation there is a lot of focus on breath and being still. It’s hard to push all thoughts away so the best way to not think about daily stresses is to replace it with thinking about your breath. Sounds simple but its not. To concentrate on this basic bodily function is hard. My mind wanders and wanders until finally the thought of “go back to the breath” saunters in and I have to pull myself back into the thought of breathing. Do this for two minutes and I can guarantee your mood will change.
I am quite happy sipping a glass of wine in my back yard, looking at the amazing Colorado sky with a mountain backdrop. But not every day is a glass of wine or a pink and orange sunset. In fact some days will be rainy, cloudy and down right trying, (cue teething baby and a 2 year old crying…just because). But being outside brings a whole new perspective. For me, stepping outside and breathing fresh air, admiring our flowers and getting some natural vitamin D is just enough to bring some calm and quiet to your head space.
If I have time and the weather is cooperating, there is nothing more satisfying than going for a jog alone or with the kids in the jogger stroller. I wish I could do this more often because I am most happy after a run. My head feels the most clear and I feel most accomplished and appreciative when I have had a good run. It is what I miss most about living next to Wash Park-running it every week. There was something about having all those other people running or doing some sort of physical activity there, that gave me so much motivation. When I am running I don’t think of anything but the act of running so it’s the best stress relief I have ever practiced.
Be in the present
As cliché as it sounds, we need to be able to stop and smell the roses. Because time is fleeting and it is something we can’t get back. So invest in your time, your moments, because these make a life, your life.
And so I tried today, to just enjoy the moment. To just be, while cleaning the bathroom, while cooking breakfast in the kitchen, or helping my son get his shoes off. Today, Sunday, was a “just be” day and it was lovely. We all should probably “just be” more often, including me.