The Practice of the Present
For nearly 300 days, I have been engaged in a daily practice which I refer to as The Practice of the Present. The practice is anchored to and named after a guided meditation called Presence by my teacher Claudia Van Buren which I’m honoured share with you now via this link. However, this practice has extended to how I (try to) carry myself throughout each and every day. If you have read my prior articles, you will have seen elements of this practice discussed in many of them along the way. But as I prepare to take some time off from writing in order to apply this practice to the new soul which I expect to bring into this world any day now (!), I thought it would be appropriate to share and summarize some of the key elements of the Practice of the Present so that you can also benefit from some of the lessons I have also learned on my journey thus far.
We think that we can control time, but we cannot. Time exists for a reason and it is one of our greatest teachers as we all work to focus on being present.
Contrary to the belief that we gain efficiencies, multi-tasking and working more fiercely ends up actually hurting us.. The stress that we build up inside ourselves drains our energy and throws our mind off so that it can no longer focus on the present moment. Very often, we condition ourselves to dwell on the past and worry about the future, depleting our precious energy. Eventually, our nerves turn into nervous habits and create deep grooves in our brains. We have to stop thinking that the more we do somehow makes up for the fact that we are just one person.
Instead, when we focus on learning how to exist peacefully with time, we retrain our minds to see beyond all of the short-cuts and come back focused on the present moment. We are exactly where we should be.
So how can we rise about our habits, negative thoughts, doubts and struggles for time? That’s how we come to the Practice of the Present. The Practice of the Present is mindfulness at its core. It is learning to trust ourselves and believe that all we need to do is focus on the present moment. The balance of concentration, relaxation and the protection that we feel will allow answers will come to us. Solutions are already there. Everything happens for reason and everything that is meant to happen will happen. Everything else is just all in good time.
It is VERY hard to focus on the present moment. But in order to get good at things, we must practice. Once we commit to practicing, we must practice continuously, and eliminate excuses and laziness which cause us to start and stop our practice. There is the conscious step of dedication that helps make it become easier and ultimately, leads to a place of flow.
There are a number of things that I have noticed create constant challenges to the Practice of the Present for me or those close to me.
- Continuously checking time whether it is during a meeting, or something like seeing where your Uber is or how long until you arrive at a destination. We must physically put our phones away and just be.Time moves forward and we cannot control it.
- Unconscious fidgeting. This is a sign that we are not being truly present and are missing the mind and body connection.
- The harm of multi-tasking. Our minds are meant to focus on doing one thing and doing it right. It is much more fulfilling to not let ourselves be pulled in every direction. Resist the urge.
- Obsessive email checking when out of the office. Relax, you are not meant to be not be on call at every moment of the day. Focus on the true task (or enjoyable activity) in the present moment.
- Nonsense to-do lists. If you already know what needs to be done, do not make a to-do list about it. Just do it! Gold stars and checkmarks come from within.
When we fall back into any of these type of non-mindful habits, no matter how insignificant, we give the mind subconscious permission to keep driving us down this path towards insanity. We instead need to commit to living the Practice of the Present and not let these distractions remove us from our flow. Thank goodness that every moment and every thought can be seen as an test and opportunity. Here are active ways to proactively practice being present throughout the day.
- Conduct a weather report on the mind. Check-in on the mind’s mindfulness state, and accept where you are first thing in the morning. Contemplate how can you best help yourself.
- Practice self-forgiveness. If your mind starts to wander and you get back into old habits, make it be a test of how quickly and lovingly can you bring it back to the present.
- Have a good laugh at your mind for trying so hard. We are only human, and we are all here to keep practicing.
- Whisper to yourself “Practice the Present”. The mind appreciates you being straightforward to help steer it back on track.
And for me, the guided meditation created by my teacher, Claudia Van Buren, has been my golden key to truly learning how to practice mindfulness for greater flow in life. The meditation blends breathwork, sound healing, colour therapy, and the power of prayer all into five minutes. You feel calm, protected and inspired to live in the present moment no matter how the days unfolds. Another one of the perplexing beauties of the meditation is that each day what I hear and pick up is completely different. To me, this confirms its effectiveness because our minds are never in the same exact place. I hope that you enjoy this gift where all you have to do is listen to it, and let its divine nature do its work.
I have so appreciated you letting me share my Practice of the Present with you, whether it be here or in one of my past articles. The personal growth we experience when we tune into these concepts and practice them constantly is incredible, I can tell you from experience. I look forward to sharing more with you soon, after a brief break to focus on being present as a new mother, the greatest gift I could ever imagine.
And not to worry, the Clarity Kingdom blog posts will continue. We have some great works lined up to share by my dear friends, mentors and teachers. May we all continue to be inspired and uplifted as we read tales of truth and love.