We all live our lives on auto pilot (whether we know this or not). Ever so often, we tap into mindfulness; maybe as something good happens, we turn to gratitude, as something bad happens, we turn to reflection or prayer/meditation. When our bodies cry out to us various ways, we may turn to yoga or other forms of movement. However, do we practice presence with intention?
When 95 percent of brain activity is beyond our conscious doing, only 5% of our behavior (decisions, emotions, actions) is done consciously — the odds are truly in favor of simply being. The golden rule is to program your subconscious mind with lots of uplifting, mindful, intelligent and graceful content so that what happens, happens for you and not to you. Thus, you feel better about everything you choose to do.
When you are present, you do each thing individually and assess it as such until it is truly time to reflect or synthesize information. The past cannot be changed. The future has not arrived. We have lots of complication in this data driven digital world, being caught behind or ahead means you neglect the beauty of what is.
Here my 3 steps for being present (with some help from Psychology Today)
Count to three
When your mind begins racing, comparing or looking toward the future, this can cause a bit of anxiety as a fear of a future threat or angst in comparing the current situation to the past’s circumstances. Take a deep breathe in for three seconds minimum, hold for equal time and exhale for equal time. This gives oxygen to all of the cells in your body and awakens you to the now in the process.
Affirm silently or aloud “I am present.” Never mind the fact that at the time, you may not believe yourself. Affirmations are a very effective form of auto-suggestion. Studies show that if practiced consistently, the words you speak to yourself coupled with the intention to believe those words equals the result of the words spoken over time.
Be a Witness
Sometimes we just need to be. Is the team overloaded with ideas? Are you stumped or becoming prone to doubt what is on the table? Take that breath and observe. Learn what is happening around you as it is unfolding. Now you are present. Now you are building an idea as time reveals itself to you.
In short, being present is a choice. Unfortunately, our mind is not set up to always be our friend, we must choose to be present and feed ourselves the ingredients to do so. I encourage you to find out what those are for you today, right now.