Intro – On today’s show I am going to breathe some life into the present moment or being mindful of the present moment. If you aren’t in the present moment then where the heck are you, running away from it, ruminating on how cool all the past moments were, stressed about planning for the future moments? Or are you maybe hiding from them all? I’ll give you the skinny on what, why, and how you can stay in the moment even if the current moment is crappy. In a short time, I will help jumpstart your day and let you discover how cool and productive a mindful day can be.
Hey there, Alexa Z here, let’s jump in and be present. Don’t worry can be present for this podcast while being present for other things like driving, folding laundry whatever.
Sometimes mindfulness topics begin to feel like self-help books. Topics come up over and over again like being present, hanging out in the here and now. If you google books on being in the present moment, you will get millions, and I mean millions (over 850 when I checked) books.
For example many have heard of it is Eckart Tolle’s book on the Power of Now was written in the late 90s and translated in over 30 languages. It was a big of Oprah’s.
So, the bus keeps going around. There goes the be present bus. 10 years go by oops there it is again. It’s great, isn’t it? So many books so few topics. I am not saying it is a joke; this is very real. We all need to hear these things, and we need to listen to them in different ways, different stories because life changes and our stories change.
We seem to be searching for the now but do we really like being in the now? If you think about it, if you’re not here, then where the heck are you? And where are you trying to go?
I’m going to talk about three things:
• What does it mean to be present?
• Why should I be present?
• Why should I be present when the present is crappy?
Jon Kabat Zinn (I call the father of mindfulness – brought light to it in the US in the late ’70s and created the stress reduction clinic and center for mindfulness in Medicine at UMASS) defines mindfulness as paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.
That sounds quite definitive and doable.
Now Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, and peace activist, defines the practice of being fully present and alive, body and mind united. Mindfulness is the energy that helps us to know what is going on in the present moment.
That sounds super yummy.
I kind of dig both of those but tend to fall somewhere in the middle.
HERE IS THE SIMPLE ALEXA VERSION: You can think about it however you want. When I teach mindfulness, I like to start as defining it as being a beginner.
Try it now. Pick up a rock – look at it. Ok, put it down.
Now close your eyes and pretend you are five years old and never saw a rock before. Now, look at the same rock. Whoooo what cool rock, it’s cold, and it might make a good pet.
You get what I mean
NOW WHY LOOK AT EVERY MOMENT THAT WAY?
Because that might be the moment your son was going to tell you that he’s fallen in love, but you were busy cooking.
Or your employee might be super sad, and your attention could be just what they need to get through the day.
Your elderly mom might be scared, but when we aren’t paying attention, we think she is annoying or ridiculous.
You met that person at the coffee shop but were so wrapped up in your laptop that you didn’t pay attention enough to find out that they could have become a huge new client, or perhaps a new friend.
The walk with the dog was great exercise but did you notice the little bugger is so frigging happy. How many times do you forget to stop when the leash halts, how would you like to be yanked off the toilet?
Ok here it comes – it’s what you have been waiting for
Crappy crappy crappy now what?
Slammed, tired, pissed, overwhelmed, complacent...
You plow through the day to get it over with. What did you give to the world at the end of the day? What did you accomplish? What if the next day is the same? What if it’s better? What needs to change?
What if you didn’t notice the crap but also didn’t see that you weren’t feeling well, that you were sleep-deprived or your diet was off, you were dehydrated, or maybe you didn’t address that issue with your spouse or employee.
Your whole day can change when you are present. You can address your emotions before they take over your thoughts and actions. You can see patterns, come on, if you’re a chick, what day of the month is it?
So, if you’re having a crappy day and you stay with the crap, you not only can see what is bothering you, I mean deep down inside, not superficial crap. You will discover your brilliance and it will tell you what the next step really should be.
Maybe you should slow down
Maybe today, just hit the bottom of the to-do list
And NOT making any big decisions!
Does this make sense? Being in the present moment helps you to really learn about yourself and what you need, body and mind, today.
Life isn’t easy but how many moments do we have left. They say the present is a gift. Open the gift.
This week’s homework is to pick one thing to be present with. Start small, brushing your teeth, coffee, walking the dog, putting your socks on? It can be anything.
You can’t wait for the next moment. It may not come! Enjoy this one!