My baby brother once came to a birthday party empty-handed and said "My presence is your present." Ha!
Then there is another kind of presence--as in being in the moment.
FACT: Now is the only presence there is, because the past is over, and the future isn't promised. Sounds simple, but being in the present takes a whole lot of practice.
Some call it mindfulness. You are aware of everything going on right here, right now and nothing else, free of judgment or expectation. Your mind observes. Your senses take in. You make no associations about the smell of burned microwave popcorn and all the times I told my kids not to let it burn. You are not getting frustrated. You are simply noticing what IS not what you wish it were.
One of the biggest challenges in practicing mindfulness is NOT making associations which is precisely what the mind LOVES to do. The mind is hard-wired to make connections. It connects the dots all the time by scanning the environment for potential threats to keep you safe and alive. In the technology age, this has become a major source of distraction, scattered energy and stress. Information overload. That is the opposite of mindfulness.
I am thinking about this a lot lately, because not only have I been physically stuck in the present moment, on the couch as I recover from knee surgery, my thoughts have been stuck too. It's been the same day for the past five plus weeks. I have made progress, but it has been slow just like healing is supposed to be. I can't jump ahead because my body won't let me, and I surely don't want to go back because that was even more debilitating than now. I am grounded to the present.
When life is going great, it feels like it moves too fast (compared to what?) and when times are tough, it feels like it moves too slowly (compared to what?) and sometimes if you let go of all judgment or expectation, you realize time moves at the same speed it always did, no matter what, but your judgment of time is what made it feel the way it did.
With the summer months ahead, now is the perfect time to slow it all down and notice. Personally, I love summer, and I never want it to end. Despite my infirmity and limited mobility, my plan is to enjoy the longer days of sunshine, warmth, flowers, spontaneity, casual eating, beach vacation to New Jersey, hopefully bike rides when I am able--and all the rest. Savor the season with all your senses.
I am encouraging you to savor too. Embrace all that nature is showing off with this season. Get outside in the elements and take it all in. Have those experiences. Say yes to new adventures. Say why not to new places. Like a kid on break from school--enjoy it all. It can be that simple, being in the moment.
Sometimes we are forced to slow down, like I have been, and sometimes we can choose to slow down. Your life matters no matter what your circumstances. Make it matter even more by noticing what you're noticing. That's it.
xo Coach Karen :))
If you are looking for more in your life, or if you are feeling stuck and don't know what or why, send me a message. firstname.lastname@example.org
We can schedule a complimentary discovery chat. I am here to serve.