One of the best, lightest things we can do for ourselves is cultivate awareness, presence, the ability to simply be.
It’s to learn to soften into the moment, to be here, present, aware.
It’s to be with what’s happening—with whatever is happening. To be able to be with it all, allow it all, feel it all.
It’s to be here, now, fully in this moment.
Our minds like to be distracted—they think, they move, they plan. They’ll pull us and tug us and nudge us. They like to captivate us, pull is in.
And if we’re not aware, if we can’t see this happening, we’ll get lost—live our lives only within the confines of our mind, of our thoughts, of the world we create in our heads. And we’ll miss out on the lives we’re living while we’re actually living them.
But we can cultivate awareness; we can practice being present; we can practice bringing ourselves back to the this moment; we can learn to become aware.
So many simple, beautiful things pass before us each day without us ever really feeling them, tasting them, allowing the fullness of them to reach us. We move as if on autopilot, from one thing to the next—never pausing, never breathing it in, never settling or simply being. Never soaking it in, never fully experiencing what we’re experiencing—and we can only ever truly experience something fully, with its full essence, when it’s happening.
Little magical wonders happen each day—moments of lightness—and we have to keep our eyes open if we want to experience them. We have to be alert; we have to pay attention. We have to be aware.
We’re living life now—here, now, in this moment. In this space and this time. In this place.
If we’re not present, we’ll miss out on the fullness of our lives. Our lives will pass like a mirage before our eyes. Suddenly, weeks, years, a whole lifetime will be gone, and we’ll look back wondering what happened, where it went, how we missed it.
Presence is a practice; it’s a continuous coming back. It’s being here, breathing here, allowing this moment to fill us, and then it’s getting lost in thought or distracted with what we’re doing, or caught up in our dreams for the future—and then coming back, to the moment.
It’s being present with all parts of our lives—with the parts we like and the parts that we don’t like as much.
There’s a sturdiness in being present, a softness too. There’s a fullness, a vibrancy—we feel the fullness, the vibrancy of life.
Often, we humans may think about where we’d like to go or about how things could be better “if only.” We imagine things that we want and have an idea of something we’d like to experience. We dream and imagine and want and hope.
And while this is natural and can even be beneficial (because it can help us visualize and get clear on our deepest wants, on the things we long to experience, and it can help us shift our inner state of being), we also have to understand—deeply—that our lives are only ever happening in the present.
Our lives are happening right now; they’re only ever happening in the present moment.
With deep presence, we find a softness, an ease, an acceptance with our lives as they are. We feel a fullness fill us. There’s opportunity and space. Beauty.
It doesn’t mean things are “perfect” or that we stop “wanting” things; it just means that it all coexists. We accept it all: where we are and whatever is happening and what we want and where we want to go. We’re here with it all; we accept it all.
And we continuously, intentionally, come back to the present, to where we are right now.
We ground ourselves, root ourselves, in the present.
So the practice is coming back, over and over and over. With whatever we’re doing, with wherever we are, with whatever we’re experiencing: it’s coming back. Breathing, being in the moment, being with what is. It’s allowing what is to be; it’s accepting that we are where we are.
So, we do and we think and our minds wander and we dream and we imagine and then we come back—to our breath, to this space, to this time, to this place, to where we are right now.
We come back to this moment.