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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