Monday, January 5, 2015

Real thoughts on being present.

Happy Monday, y'all! I don't know about you, but I surely am not ready to get back into the swing of things. One day off just isn't enough in my book, but I shouldn't complain. That's one of my "vague" resolutions (I'm definitely going to need it to get through this week)!

Anyway, today I wanted to chat briefly about being present. It's a lot harder than those zen people make it seem like. I work hard on it and though I'm annoyingly observant and analytical; I still find myself falling short a lot. This is how I know (see if it rings any bells for you).

*I find myself getting into bed at night and feeling like I was just there. The day feels like a blur.

*I zone out while someone is speaking to me, even if I love them and/or what they're saying is completely interesting. Or I don't remember the drive home from work (yikes!).

*I escape. Netflix marathons are a biggie. Very long baths are another. Every now and then is perfectly okay, but sometimes those marathons or baths last a lot longer than they should.

*I react. "I'm bored, let's go eat out." "I know I have five loads of laundry to do, let's go to the book store or a movie instead." "I'm mad about something that happened at work, I'm going to take a ridiculously long bath and stew" (literally and figuratively). "Customers are annoying me, I'm going to go to the back office and occupy myself with something unimportant or not at all helpful." My mind can become full of white noise, and distraction becomes the go-to.

Instead of tackling things head on (which is the way I normally attempt to do things), I let them pile up or haunt me. I have a problem staying present sometimes. So, in case this is a problem for you too, here are some ways to help (and yes, I will take my own damn advice).

*Daily gratitude. Even just stealing a quiet moment at work in the loo to look at yourself in the mirror and say one thing you are more grateful for than mad at at the moment. "I am thankful that I put dinner in the crockpot this morning because I'll have a wonderful dinner to go home to in less than five hours. I'm going to put on some unbelievably comfy pajamas and kiss my dog on the head and eat that delicious dinner!" Sometimes that little reminder of something happy can get you through a lot of annoyance at work (or home or school or wherever you are). Reminding yourself of small greatnesses really can do wonders for you spirit and pop you right back into the moment where you belong.

*Time outside. Even five minutes. It's unbelievable how little time people devote to being outdoors these days. No wonder people can't wrap their heads around global environmental crises, they aren't spending time in the beautiful outdoors. Yes, and even though it's winter and cold, it still pays to be out in it for a few minutes a day (bundled up nicely, of course). I love to notice the minute changes in the seasons. Right now the trees are spindly and grey and make beautiful designs against the sky. And look up at the remainder of the Full Moon from Sunday. What a gorgeous silver pie! Laugh at the animals in your neighborhood. They can't help but be entertaining. Where I live there are birds everywhere right now, even the seagulls have come inland and are happily stealing bread from the ducks at the lake (who are getting sassy in return). Even if its just a moment, take that moment. Realign with yourself, with your spirit and with nature. It truly helps with priorities and presence.

*Have a cuppa. Take a few minutes to sit down with a nice cup of coffee or tea or warm water with lemon. Prepare it for yourself and focus on it. Be in the moment and enjoy it as you consume it. Sure your mind will wander, let it. If you sanction time to let it wander then it tends to wander less when you're actually needing it to focus.

*Write. Just jot down what's been going on in your day. Is it cold, rainy or lovely and sunny? Did you eat something scrumptious? Write it down. Remember it. Savour it. Did you have a quick breakfast with someone you love? What made you laugh? This ties in nicely with the gratitude bit too. It's amazing how it flows when you start to jot it all down. It doesn't have to be Shakespeare. No one ever has to read it but you. It can just be you and yours. And it will help you when you're feeling all "blurry" too (of course it will happen, you're human).

*Get some sleep. Go to bed early, don't play that next episode of Louie or Call the Midwife. Just wash your face, brush your teeth and get in that cosy bed. Get 8 hours, go ahead. Your body needs it, and your mind most definitely needs it too.

I hope this helps y'all a little. It's nothing new, no reinvention of the wheel. Just a few thoughts on caring for yourself and being present in your own life-- it's your show after all!! Enjoy it!

I truly hope you have a wonderful day!

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