We live fast paced lives; going from one activity to the next, scurrying about like a mice in a maze. We have so much on our to do list that we sometimes forget why we were doing it. Believe me, I plan my days down to the quarter hour. Some days are so full that I feel like the mouse in the maze. We all get busy like this. The key is to be mindful of what we are doing in the moment; being with the people that you’re with in the present moment. When training with a trainer, learning a new skill, or taking a yoga class, can you leave everything else that is going on in your life outside the room and just focus on that one particular thing or activity?
Learning to Focus
Focusing is a learned skill that I work on daily. Here are a few ideas that help me with being present in the moment:
Restrict distractions like cell phones, what distracts you???_____________
Focus on the activity at that moment. If on a date with friend or spouse, devote your whole self to that time.
Listen to what is being said your by trainer. Are you truly listening or just going through the motions?
Breathe. Focus on lengthening breathe if doing yoga, exhale on the exertion while lifting weights, and if running, find a rhythm slower than the pace of the run.
Try this for homework: set a timer for 5 minutes, close your eyes and breathe air in for 4, 3, 2, 1, slow counts and then breathe out fully for 4, 3, 2, 1 . Expanding breath now for 5 slow counts in, pause at the top, now fully exhale for 5 slow counts. Again, expanding breath, 6 slow counts in, pause at the top of breath, and then fully exhale all the air out of the lungs for 6 slow counts. Stay with the 6 slow counts in, pausing at the top and 6 slow counts out for the duration of the 5 minutes. Think about equal inhalation, to equal exhalation. Try focusing on nothing other than the rhythm of your breath.
Let me know how you do. Remember, it takes practice to be fully present with whatever you are doing or whoever you are with.
What Are You Grateful For?
Finding gratitude for all that you have been blessed with goes hand-in-hand with being present in the moment. We can plan for the future, but it may not happen as we expect. We can’t live in the past because it is gone, never to be here again except in our memories and photos. What we do have is the present – to live to be our best and to share our gifts with those we love that are near and dear to our hearts. AND to also share with those we come in contact with throughout our day, moment by moment.
You and I cannot know what trials someone else is facing today but we can share a smile or a good morning. We can pay it forward, or give an outlandish tip to a waiter or waitress. Life is precious and short. Live today, this moment, like it is your last! Be present!!!