Day 2 on our new meditative journey teaches us a renewed sense of being present in our lives and not living in the past.
The past is what weighs us down. Who we are even three days ago isn’t who we are today. With each passing day comes new experiences and new learnings. The more of these we gather, the more we evolve as beings. However, in order to evolve, you must be present in the moment – something that with modern-day distractions, can be very difficult to do.
What you should remember on this journey to being self-aware and “lighter” in your life, is that it doesn’t matter where you live in the world – we all have things we take for granted, wish we had done differently, and have rushed through, in order to get (what we think) will be the desired outcome. If we reflect back, we oftentimes say “I wish I had…” This leads to negative thinking and depression, for which can be hard to move on from. It took me a solid six months of changing my habits to master this one (as best I can). Sure, I still have moments where I look back and wonder if I made the right decisions in life. But then I look at the chain of events that led me to that certain moment I’m thinking of and realize, there was no other path or else I wouldn’t be where I am today. Instead, I come up with a plan to get me where I want to go and do my best to achieve it.
On this journey, you will discover that doing your best and being present, go hand-in-hand. You can’t do your best in life if you’re not present to move it along.
My example for today comes from my daily meetings at work. I was one of those that for the longest time, would completely zone out during long meetings (oftentimes about other meetings) and would miss a large chunk of what potentially came out of those meetings. Thus, I wasn’t progressing professionally as much as I would have liked. Years ago, I decided to tell myself before every meeting, to remain present as much as possible, pick out potential opportunities for projects, ask questions, and help advance things forward. This was the best advice I could have given myself! Today, I’m much further along in career – and in a direction I like! I now find myself actively searching for opportunities in my company before they even exist, and asking more questions than (I believe) people have time for.
If the professional example doesn’t resonate with you, I’ve learned that personally, remaining present can be more difficult. Professionally, it seems almost a given to work hard and strive to be successful. Personally, many of us let ourselves fall to the wayside because we’re too tired, too distracted, or too emotional to try. It’s hard to enjoy the simpler things that don’t involve modern-day distractions. My example for you comes in the form of a social engagement I was at last summer where it seemed drama was the theme of the night. Each of the people at this particular get together had some sort of issue with the other (which begs the question why they all got together in the first place). Having only been back a month, I was a bit distraught with how the evening was turning out and what I was hearing/reading (because people were texting even snarkier comments about the others). I started to find myself absorbing everyone else’s problems when it struck me like a lightning bolt – I wasn’t being present, as I was getting sucked into a vortex that was going to have repercussions later. In the middle of the conversation I was having, I let the other person know that I really didn’t have an opinion on any of what was happening, I just hope everyone can work it out. That ended the conversation. When the other person moved on to find someone who would listen, I had a moment to figure out what I was going to do – was I going to go home early and sit alone with my thoughts, or was I going to find the positive, remain present, and have my own good time? Because of how I turned my thinking around, it ended up being one of the best nights I had had that summer – all the way until 8am the next morning when the last of the group finally went home.
Remaining present is about shining your internal light for yourself. It’s about enjoying every single moment life has to offer and realizing that as you go along your own journey, you’re growing, evolving, and expanding mentally and spiritually. It’s about accepting what was while realizing that what you have right now is better than what you had. It’s about understanding that you are a better version of yourself today than you were 10 minutes ago.
Your homework for today is to spend 10 minutes in the present – it could be cooking a meal, playing with your dog and/or children, taking a walk and seeing the beauty around you – WITHOUT distraction. Let the phone ring, let the text go, let the laundry sit. Just “be” and see what it does for you.