“Your true home is in the here and the now. Life is available only in the present moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Anxiety, overwhelm, depression, worry, comparison, guilt, reaction, fear, they all come from our habit of living either in the past or worrying about a future we’re uncertain of. Either we’re replaying the events of the past, feeling guilt or judging ourselves for some way we’ve been. Or, we’re worrying, making up stories about a future we’re uncertain of. Both habits take us out of the present moment. And, the present moment is the only place where we have the potential to change how we feel about the past, or how we will be in the future.
This powerfully simple presence practice reconnects us to now. And now is where our power is. This practice reconnects us to the powerful truth that we’re safe. We’re okay. We’re doing the best we can. We’re likely being supported in many small, seemingly insignificant ways that together can remind us of the grace and support that is always available to each and every one of us in any given moment.
Sit somewhere quietly where you won’t be disturbed (too much). I suggest sitting in your favorite spot in your home or in your yard or a local park. Settle your body by sitting in a chair or on a comfortable pillow or cushion on the floor. Or, find a patch of grass, some leaves, a stone or a tree trunk to sit upon. Turn your focus inward by closing your eyes or having a gentle gaze toward the ground. You can do a walking version of this practice too.
Ask yourself this question: When you’re ready, ask yourself either aloud or internally, whichever is most comfortable for you: What am I being offered right now? Answer this question using everything present in the current moment. Using what’s available to you in the present moment, answer yourself.
Repeat the question – What am I being offered right now? Continue to ask the question and answer it again and again for the next few minutes. You can continue for as long as you’d like: from three to five to up to 10 minutes if you need it. Answer yourself again, using another response that comes from your experience in the current moment. Using what’s available to you in the present moment, answer yourself again, reflect on what is different or not different from your first response. Expound upon your answers.
Notice what being in the present moment feels like. Take note of what you learn as you continue to ask yourself this question and answer. Just sit/walk and reflect on this for each moment. It’s subtle, it’s simple but its effect can be quite powerful. Just think on it in any given moment – What are you being offered right now?
Peace and Love, Jim