One of the main reasons I take five to ten minutes each morning, quiet my thoughts and body, and focus my awareness on my Intentions and the Intentions I hold for others, is that process brings me fully into ‘the present’.
Being in the present, in the now is easier said than done as we live much of our lives in the past or the future. My need to live in the future is based on the myth that if I plan the future and know what is supposed to happen, then I’ll be okay, safe, happy, peaceful, all right, etc. A reality is that the time I spend looking forward to what will be, I’m missing where I am and what is.
While our brains are wonderful things, they can only be one place at a time. When I’m thinking about the future or agonizing over something in the past, I’m missing out on what is happening right now. It may be the way the sun plays on the leaves in the tree outside my window, the beauty of the sunset, a neighbor saying ‘hi’, a child’s smile and wave from a passing car; something simple or something complex. I don’t know because I missed it, I wasn’t here.
Our brains are complex. We can train them to do some things automatically so that they do something consciously. If you drive a car with a ‘stick shift’ you reach a point where you just ‘know’ and shift and you aren’t paying much attention to those actions. When we are children and first learning to walk, we concentrate on every step; as adults we walk while looking at grocery shelves, talking to a friend, admiring a neighbors yard. However, to be successful in training our brains, in training ourselves, we must be ‘present’ during the training process.
Due to the accident I mentioned last week, I’m back in physical therapy. My appointment this morning points out that lesson. I’m having to learn simple movements again. Today my assignment was to step back and forth over a 2 X 4 board while counting backwards from 20. I got to 18, was unstable on my feet, and felt tears of frustration. It is very hard for me to do.
Tomorrow, I’ll start my day in the present. I’ll state my Intentions which will include “Counting backwards from twenty, while stepping over the 2 X 4 is easy and effortless for me.”
Does that mean I’ll not stumble, stagger, or lose track of the numbers? How I wish! The reality is that I will stumble, stagger, and lose track of the numbers but my level of frustration will be much less because I’ll stop, pause, be in the present, repeat my Intention, and try again.
My Intention is to safely, easily and effortlessly master this exercise. If I keep my focus on that, if I stay in the present, I will succeed more quickly than if I believe it’s too hard and I have to struggle. I don’t mind stumbling and staggering as I relearn to ‘walk and talk’ at the same time again. I do mind struggling, making it harder and more difficult than it has to be.
Easy and effortless, joy and happiness, grace and gratitude, confidence and certainty are hallmarks of my life today.
How do you want to live your life? What is your Intention? Do you want to live a life of peace, a life of adventure, a life of productivity, a life of _________?
Please share your thoughts. I’d like to know how you use these ideas.