Self Help Newsletter

"Being in the Now"

If you’re at all on the spiritual path, then you know the importance of being in the now. We’re told that all that really matters is the present moment and that all our creative energy is in the now. Sounds great, but it’s pretty difficult to stay focused on the present moment when our mind is racing a thousand miles a minute, our job is stressful, the economy is suffering, the holidays are fast approaching, and on and on. Are you with me?

Here in the US, November is thought of as a month to be thankful because of the Thanksgiving holiday coming up at the end of the month. Therefore, it’s as good a time as any to practice being present in this moment and appreciating everything that’s going on around us. Rather than focusing on all the things you have to get done or all the things that are not going exactly as you had planned, why not take some time to simply stop and just appreciate and enjoy the moment as it is? The following exercise will show you how to do just that!

The next time you find your head spinning or you’re just plain stressed out, instead of letting your negative thoughts and stress get the best of you, I invite you to just stop where you are, b-r-e-a-t-h-e, and pay attention to what’s going in this moment. First, notice everything that’s happening around you. For example, take note of the sounds you hear, what you can smell, what’s visible to you in the immediate area, etc. What colors do you see? What is the temperature like? What’s the overall energy like?

Next, after you’ve surveyed your surroundings, take this one step further and pay special attention to what’s actually going on inside your body. Go within and notice what your shoulders feel like, and your legs, and your heart or chest. Do you feel tight and anxious, or relaxed and confident? What particular sensations do you notice in your body? Are you tingling with excitement, or do your shoulders feel heavy and burdensome? Do certain areas of your body feel different than other parts of your body? Notice as much as you can! What do you actually feel like? Tired, nervous, happy, sad, angry, bored, confused, etc. Feel free to write your observations down in your journal if it helps you really notice what's going on.

I’ve started doing this exercise on a regular basis recently, and you’d be amazed at how quickly this can turn things around! With a little repetition and practice, you can use the exercise to bring relaxation and peace to almost any situation, no matter what is going on around you. The best part is, because you’re simply going inside yourself and observing what’s going on, you can do this exercise anywhere and no one will know. Use it at your next staff meeting or when you’re caught in traffic, and see if it makes a difference!

It’s important to remember that while you’re observing what’s going on in your body, you’re doing just that, i.e. observing. You’re not judging your shoulders for being tight or hating your back for being sore. You’re simply noticing the physical sensations that are going on in your body. If it feels good to you, feel free to send love and positive energy to those places in your body that seem like they need a little extra attention. They will thank you! :)

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