We’re in such a hurry to get to the top. To reach our goals, our end game. But when that is our focus or the only thing we settle our awareness on, we miss the journey and then when we arrive, we don’t appreciate it in the same way. We miss the magnitude of what we accomplished.
It’s about the journey. The life lessons and skills we cultivate along the way that make the arrival sweeter. If we rush through the journey missing those juicy life lessons, wisdom nuggets, and truth bombs along the way achieving what we were striving for doesn’t have the same feeling. We may still feel like ‘there’s something more’. What’s the next thing I can work towards? The next goal? We create this never-ending pattern of goals that are empty and never satisfying. This is why present moment awareness is critical. We have to be aware along the way so we experience life and the journey! When we do, it makes our arrival powerful, evolutionary, and that much sweeter.
It’s all good for me to say “Be present. Enjoy the journey.” But what the heck do I mean? How do you be present? Everyone is different and requires different approaches. But let me share with you what has worked for me. Let me be clear first, to me, being present is a practice just like yoga and meditation. This means that we fluctuate within this practice where some days we nail it! And other days, we are beginners again. All of this is ok! This is why they are called practices. Okay, now let me share with you a couple present moment practices that work for me!
This one may seem too simple but it is nevertheless powerful! Breath is life and for me, when I bring my awareness to my breath, I appreciate my life. I appreciate my breath, my health. I am immediately filled with gratitude. Begin to just witness and notice your breath. I used to set a reminder on my phone so several times a day, it would go off and I would stop what I was doing, close my eyes, and just witness my breath. Overtime this becomes part of your day. When we are aware of our breath we are in the present moment experiencing our journey!
Morning Gratitude Ritual
This can look a million different ways. It can be a silent prayer, a meditation practice, a mantra, lighting a candle, sitting outside for a few moments or several combined. But the intention, and what has been profound for me, is to start my day with a morning gratitude ritual. Before my cup of coffee or a shower, I take a few moments to feel gratitude for waking, for my life, and set an intention for my day. My ritual evolves and changes from time to time. The occasional days that I feel too busy to start my day this way, I am always astounded by the difference in the way I feel. I truly do tend to walk through my day a little rushed and mindless. For me, beginning my day with a Morning Gratitude Ritual has been life changing. Try it out for couple weeks! It can be anything but create a ritual, honor it, and then witness how awake, present, and powerful you are.
I’m sure you’re not surprised about this one! I could write for days about yoga so I will try to keep this short and sweet. When we have a regular yoga practice, we begin to take the lessons we learn on the mat (self-acceptance, awareness, mindfulness, gratitude) off the mat and into our daily lives. Our daily lives become our yoga practice and when this shift happens, we walk through life mindfully. We cultivate present moment awareness. This allows us to truly be part of and witness our journey!
There are many ways for us to become more mindful and aware, the ones listed above are what has worked for me. I am so grateful for my present practice. This has allowed me to continue setting goals and striving to achieve them but I am present for the journey now. I notice synchronicities and juicy nuggets of wisdom along the way. And now when I achieve a goal I’ve set, it’s so much sweeter because I realize, I’ve gained so much more. It never was solely about my goal. It has always been about the journey. I see that now. Thank you presence.
How do you stay present? Aware? What practices do you have to help you stay mindful during a hectic day? Share them with us!