Enlightenment

When the moment sucks, do I still have to be fully present?

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What if the present moment is the last place you want to be? Maybe you’ve just ended a relationship, experienced the death of someone you love, maybe you’ve experienced a life changing event or illness. Maybe it isn’t that dramatic at all, perhaps it’s just a really bad day or possibly a bad year, life happens. It’s okay not to love every single moment or even want to be in them.

The whole premise behind my blog, twitter and website is to be present in the moment 100% of the time. “Wherever you are, be all there.” It sounds like a great idea until the moment sucks! It’s ironic that I chose bepresent100 because I tend to have trouble being present in the moment, myself. That’s also why I chose it, it’s a beautiful reminder of why I started, where I began and hopefully where I will end up.  A helpful reminder for me to be present and just breathe. This moment, is all we have for certain and it too will pass. What I’ve observed by truly being in the present moment is that the bad moments last a lot less longer because I’m acknowledging them and dealing with them instead of avoiding them; and the good moments last longer because I’m truly appreciating where I am and what I’m doing. Here’s a few tips when the moment seems like the last place you want to be:

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1) Gratitude. Be grateful for what you have.  “The key to having it all, is knowing that you already do.” We are so blessed and I know it’s hard to see when you’re in the trenches. I’ve been there too. We truly have so much. Dwell on what you do have instead of what you don’t.

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2) Let Go. There will be things you can’t change. People you can’t change. Sometimes you don’t want to change. Let go of that control. Let go of everything having to be exactly as you envisioned it. Release those expectations for yourself and others. Control is merely an illusion anyway. The less you need to try to control things and people around you (yourself included) the happier you will be.

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3) Laugh. Every time you find yourself feeling sorry for yourself or being angry with the current situation, try humor. If you can laugh about it there’s a good chance that will help change your entire demeanor.

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4) Practice! Being fully present in the moment is not something we are use to, it’s something we fight so we don’t have to deal with our feelings. Something we don’t have time to do. Something we’ll do tomorrow. Pulled in EVERY direction but up, it’s not going to come natural. You will need to practice. Change your thoughts. Change your mind set. Appreciate your small accomplishments along the way.  Remember, progress not perfection.

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To be in the present moment doesn’t mean there’s always going to be happy moments, exciting moments or thrilling ones. It simply means we are taking advantage of this beautiful, wonderful life that we have received by acknowledging that above all else life is truly a gift.

Follow this adventurous yogi on Instagram @outdooryogi and on twitter@bepresent100

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Self-Awareness, Transcendence

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Recently I watched the movie Transcendence with Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman. It was definitely entertaining but what I enjoyed most was the fact that it made me think. The movie reminded me of how dependent we are on the internet, the beauty of all that’s intertwined with our creator and the simple truth of why we were created. “He created us to be with him.”

In the movie, they had created a smart computer that could do an astounding number of things except be human with feelings and emotions. The skeptic would ask the computer named, Pinn, “ Are you self-aware?” Pinn would then say, “That’s an interesting question, are you self-aware?”  Hmm, self-awareness, am I self-aware? How is being self-aware beneficial? Does being self-aware mean I’m selfish?

Wikipedia defines self-awareness as the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals. Introspection is the examination of one’s own conscious thoughts and feelings

In my yoga classes, near the end in savasana, I remind everyone to take note and be more aware of how they are feeling and how their body is feeling in the present moment. It seems we have to be reminded to be self-aware it’s not something that comes easily for most of us. We often do think of ourselves but it’s usually to judge or beat ourselves up over something we’ve said, done or ate. This is not self-awareness, this is self-judgment. Self-awareness allows us to examine our behaviors and thoughts without judgment. It’s a way to detach for a moment and simply observe what is going on within ourself. This is a healthy observation that we can commit to daily. It’s not selfish to observe and be aware of where we are in the moment. It’s actually selfish not too. We are constantly going, we have so many demands and people depending on us to make it all happen that setting aside 10-15 minutes or however much time we can manage allows us to create a healthy balance. It gives us a moment to check in and see what we need in order to be able to give our best.

How do we create more self-awareness? Meditation is a great way to start creating more self-awareness. Taking 5-10 minutes to sit and observe your thoughts can help you refocus and redirect. Allow yourself the freedom to be still. If you have a particular issue or question that’s been weighing on your mind. I challenge you to take that question or issue and write it down, find yourself a quiet spot even if it’s only for 5 minutes. Set a timer if necessary, I’ve done this on several occasions. Ask yourself that question and be still, be silent, see what comes up. Don’t judge your thoughts that pass through, simply sit with them and see what they are telling you. A lot of times we already know the answer in our heart but we’re so busy and consumed with being everything for everybody else that we forget that we have to take care of ourself first. Maybe the answer will not come the first or second time but take time to listen to what your body and your instincts are trying to share with you. It’s the same good advice that we are advised on every time we fly “in case of an emergency, put your oxygen mask on first before attempting to help others.” In order to help others, we must first help ourselves.

Find more from me on yoga and inspiration athttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Be-PresentYoga/336705043142303 and on twitter:@bepresent100 

Present Moment Contentment

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What does happiness look like to you? I think for a long period of my life I thought every day was supposed to be happy and if it wasn’t, I was doing something wrong. I figured if I’m not happy I must be on the wrong path; I must have taken a wrong turn. It’s still a struggle for me to simply be and live in the present moment especially when those moments are uncomfortable, messy or sad. But part of living is experiencing the good, the bad and everything in between. When we think of the present moment we assume that it means to be happy with our current set of circumstances. However, I have found being truly present consists equally of happiness, sadness, sickness, health, loss and abundance to name a few.

A quote comes to my mind and it’s everywhere it seems, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain.” It’s beautiful and I understand the meaning behind it but I also truly believe that sometimes in the storm we don’t have to learn to dance in the rain. Sometimes we need to be still and maybe even cry with the rain. In other words, it’s not about being happy every single moment. That would be a lovely state but it’s not reality. So many times we try to force happiness because we feel guilty for feeling anything else. We put on a show for our friends and family and get frustrated with ourselves when we can’t force a happy smile or a genuine laugh. So what I want to stress in this writing more than anything is that, it’s okay. You’re okay and it’s perfectly normal and acceptable to have many different feelings and still learn to be present and aware.

The challenge becomes to be content in the present moment. Being content means we are simply aware. We are aware of our sadness, our happiness, our hurts, our goals, our failures, our successes. Contentment soothes anxiety and brings peace. Contentment allows you to breathe and gives you space to be you. When we are content we know the moment is fleeting, we know it will not last forever which allows us to cry when were sad, to laugh loudly when were truly happy, to relish genuine heart felt love.

You see, being present in the moment doesn’t mean it’s a perfect moment. It simply means it’s your moment and we’re all striving and doing the best that we can and that is enough. It’s learning to be authentic not only with others but with ourselves. Begin cultivating contentment by simply being aware and learning to feel whatever emotion comes up. Be true to yourself above all others. By accepting our journey, our pace and our truth; we begin to live each day present, content and aware.

Find more yoga and inspiration at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Be-PresentYoga/336705043142303 and on twitter:@bepresent100

People Crave Honesty Over Perfection

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Sometimes we think we have to know it all, be it all and do it all. You don’t have to be an expert to inspire others. You don’t have to be perfect to make a difference. People crave honesty over perfection. You just have to show up and be you. We are all unique. We all have gifts and talents that only we can share with the world. There is enough. You are enough. Celebrate others. Celebrate you! In everything you do….LOVE and BE LOVED.

Find more yoga and inspiration at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Be-PresentYoga/336705043142303 and on twitter:@bepresent100

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To a Courageous Heart, Everything is Possible.

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What if we practiced courage every single day? A single question that motivates me to take a risk, challenges me to fight the good fight and stirs my soul to share and shine my light. Courage defined is a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger or pain without showing fear. It’s bravery, it’s heart, it’s having faith in the unseen, it’s taking a chance on the unknown and daring to be different. When you act courageously you don’t always know what the outcome will be. It may set you back or propel you forward. The beauty of a courageous heart is that everything is possible. Where the only choice is being strong, sometimes having to walk alone and accepting that the road ahead may be anything but clear.

Every day it’s a choice. Every day it’s an effort. Being courageous offers a path like no other and a feeling that’s indescribable. It’s not living without fear but it’s making brave choices despite our fear. It’s more than simply existing but it’s LIVING! So you ask is the courageous journey worth the risk? My answer: an enthusiastic, yes! Every Single Day!

Find more yoga and inspiration at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Be-PresentYoga/336705043142303 and on twitter:@bepresent100