My last post on the obstacles to being present generated several questions from my regular readers about what they can do to begin to practice being more mindful. It can be helpful to first remember a time when you had the experience of being present.
We all have had experiences that made us very present and conscious: pleasurable moments of enjoying a meal or treat so much that we were captivated by the flavor, smells and texture; intimate encounters with someone who we love that made us very present in our bodies; heart-breaking losses that brought grief so close, we felt fully immersed in emotion.
I regularly hear clients sharing about painful experiences that made them very present to what is real and important in their lives. From going through cancer treatment to losing a loved one, sometimes pain is a powerful presence instigator.
Can you remember a time when you were very aware of the present moment? It might have felt almost like time stood still and everything around you sharpened. You noticed something you had never noticed before. You experienced clarity and connection to your emotions and body sensations.
It could have been enjoying the most amazing creme brulee of your life or it could have been standing at the altar, staring into your partner’s eyes, but I bet you can remember something that triggered a state of presence for you.
Take a few moments right now to remember an event that made you very present in your body and emotions. Allow yourself to feel the experience as if it were happening now. What sensations do you feel? What is important to you as you immerse yourself in the moment? What do you know with clarity?
What would it take for you to be this present in the very next moment of your life, no matter what is happening?