Be Present

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In an attempt to clear up some space on my hard drive, I’ve been sifting through old files. I’ve found a lot of pictures and writing that I forgot about from the past couple years. Some fun stuff, and some that I rather I hadn’t have found, given the times weren’t as rosy as they might have appeared to onlookers. Nonetheless, I like to reflect on what I’ve learned and experienced through things I’ve captured and written.

sunsetbepresent

Lately, I’ve been focusing on living by the 4 agreements. A principle laid out in a book I’ve not read, yet feel it is very useful for living a good life. The 4 agreements being…

Be impeccable with your word. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t take anything personally. Always do your best. 

Along with the practice of those things, being mindful and present as much as possible has been a game changer for me. In my digital digging tonight I came across a song I wrote last year that talks about the negative impact living according to your past (which you cannot change) or future (which you cannot predict) has on your present health and happiness.

“Can’t breathe—can’t breathe

The wind is too strong on these seas

Can’t sleep—can’t sleep

For flashback or forward

Both betray my peace”

Whether you are too focused on your past mistakes (or the mistakes of others in your past) or your eyes can only envision an ideal, future life situation that you haven’t attained… you will be robbed of your peace. You will be robbed of the joy of connecting both in relationships and to yourself. I was. For so long I was.

The idea of self and being present is so interesting to me. For one, I accept that I am unable to see myself as others see me. Even in the mirror, a reflection can easily be changed with lighting and angles and state of mind. I can look myself in the eye, and still only see a perspective of myself.

If I look in the mirror and see my failures, that affects my perspective as well. Or, I could look in the mirror and think of my potential for the future that I have to look forward too. Both scenarios don’t allow me to know my present self, or engage in my present world with peace and mindfulness.

“It’s your imperfections that make you perfect.” 

My boyfriend said this to me a couple weeks ago. Maybe it’s a little corny. Maybe we were talking about my legs that I hadn’t shaved. Regardless, it’s a perspective I’ve never been able to adapt on my own. The thought that in this moment, I’m my best self– the only self I have, the self I should be thankful for– had never crossed my mind. There was always something to be regretting or something better to be looking forward to.

What obstacles prevent you from living in the moment? How could you align your mindset with an attitude of thankfulness for the precise moment you are in? What benefits do you lose out on because you are looking forwards or backwards too much? What distractions could you eliminate that take you out of the moment?

I hope this was a helpful read for someone. I know as I practice being present I feel less anxiety, less fear… more love and more gratitude. Life is never perfect, but you’ll gain nothing by trying to fix something that is past or trying to reach something that isn’t here yet.

Do your best. Be yourself. Allow yourself to think only of the current conversation or task you are in.

Enjoy the moment. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not guaranteed.

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One thought on “Be Present

  1. It’s nice to read something a little different for a change.

    I was reading your text and had this reflexion in my head at the same time.

    I don’t pretend to have the answers to your questions. But I can probably tell you WHY?
    We don’t want to be ALONE.
    We want to fit in this world, we want to find our spot, the very place where we are supposed to be. Because we are convinced that it will bring you joy and happiness. In that goal, we try our very best to respect the expectations of our entourage.

    Looking behind can be perceived as a way to escape present. Because we are enable to deal with it, and we look through our past for a solution. Don’t we say that we learn from our past?
    The trick is knowing when not to get stuck in it. It goes both ways. How many times did you think:
    ” Oh, No… I won’t do that because last time I did, I remember what happened…” And still, the result might be different this time.
    Or you could also say “I know what I have to do differently this time, so I don’t do the same mistake again”
    Perception is about us, I mean you…I mean each and everyone in this world.

    Only when we free ourself from the others, we will know peace. It doesn’t mean to be alone. For me, it means,KNOW ABOUT YOURSELF. And you can only do that when you don’t feel judge, when you are appart.

    And isn’t it the reason why you came to this part of the world in the first place? To loose yourself and learn who you are?what you are capable of?

    Here is another question for you Jessi, When will you be ready to go back? not that you have to, but you know, one way or another, we are only here for a short time….

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