Swept up in the frenzy this month? Making lists and menus and plans?
Shopping and shlepping and wrapping – Oh, my!
Stop. Why are you still reading this? I mean it. Just stop for a moment.
Ahhh. That’s better, isn’t it? Good.
As Eleanor Roosevelt so aptly put it:
“The past is history. The future, a mystery.
But the greatest gift of all is the present moment.
That’s why it’s called the present.”
In the present moment dwell peace, harmony, joy… all we desire.
Some beings know and instinctively live this. Look at animals and little children. Is your dog still agonizing over last week, when you came home a half hour late? Does the baby worry about a college education – or about how quickly potty training is progressing? Ha!
Of course, we need to review the past in order to learn, to truly turn our wounds into wisdom (as I help people do with deep omnidimensional healing).
And we need to set intentions for, visualize and strategically plan for the future to manifest as well as to prepare. (That’s where Law of Attraction comes in.)
Yet so many people live their entire lives without ever really living.
“Life is what happen while we’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon
“What if?”ing and “If only”ing through their whole lives, living in the past or future — and usually through a negative lens. One psychological study actually found that 75% of people’s thoughts are a) negative and b) redundant, like a loop.
Time to get off the cranky, creaky hamster wheel!
No time like the present. Literally.
I said that to my youngest son one day and he replied,
“Mom, there’s no time BUT the present.”
And renowned meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are, asks, “Are you a human being? Or a human doing?”
(I had the honor, when I was teaching meditation at Kaiser Permanente, to study Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with Dr. Zinn.)
“Yes, Sage, I know this,” you’re thinking. “I TRY to be present, yet something always seems to pull me off track. What can I do?”
As my gift to you this month, allow me to present you with:
10 Ways to Cultivate Being Present – Plus a Bonus Way We ALL Need 🙂
Tip #1. Slow down. Every time you think of it, train yourself to just slow down. Literally, move slower. Or just stop. Observe. Breathe. Use daily routines as reminders. For example:
When the phone rings, I stop and breathe .
When I close the front door, I say, “I am here. I am home.”
Every time I get in the car, I affirm, “I am here. I am now.”
When my feet touch the Earth, I think “Right here, right now”
or “Thank you.”
2. Find the beauty in this moment.
I teach my students and clients to ask themselves, over and over, throughout each day: “How can this moment be a moment of love?”
You can also phrase this as:
“How can this moment be a moment of beauty?”
(or peace or healing)
Look, listen, touch, sense the beauty and love within you and around you.
What is beautiful, what is loving, what is healing, what is joyful in this moment?
Be present with it. Say hello.
Say “Thank you” in your heart.
I love to do this one in traffic or when waiting in a line. Instead of indulging in useless mind chatter or frustration, I may notice a bird flying outside, the beauty of a leaf waving in the wind, or the rain on the windshield, smile at the bank teller, send love to the Earth… Or I give myself a hug.
3. Schedule “being” time.
I like to call it ME TIME, BE TIME.
This may sound crazy in our culture, but we need regular time to just BE. No agenda. No list (internal or external!). No activity at all.
This is different from recreation, socializing, exercise, massage, or any other activity, even those that are healing. I’m talking about being in the spaces between.
Dwelling in silence and stillness.
Rediscovering your own blissed, blessed being.
Taking a weekly Sabbath is one lovely way to do this as is daily meditation.
Even just sitting and doing nothing counts and is actually quite productive because you will be far more effective, focused, pleasant and creative when you do come back to do/engage mode.
“How beautiful it is to do nothing, and rest afterward.” – Spanish proverb
4. “Present moment, wonderful moment”
Buddhist monk and spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh shares this meditation breath in his book Being Peace.
Breathe in “present moment.”
Breathe out “wonderful (or beautiful) moment.” Or “moment of love.”
Try different mantras like this. These really work.
5. First, Last.
Imagine that any given moment in your life is either the very first or the very last time you will be able to experience that.
How much richer!
How much sweeter!
How much more alive!
There is a Zen parable about a man falling off a cliff and as he tumbles to his certain death, falling down the mountain and banging off the rocks, he sees one single strawberry growing along the mountainside. He plucks that berry and gets it in his mouth. It is the most delicious food he ever eats because he knows it is his last bite on Earth.
We don’t have to wait until our last bites or our last breaths to be THAT present.
It changes everything. I encourage you to not just read this article but to live it!
6. Tratakam (gazing)
An ancient yogic practice simply involves gazing at a candle. This practice calms the mind, and brings you into the present.
If you gaze at the lowest blue-indigo part of the flame, you will also open your Third Eye.
As an open-eyed meditation, you can also gaze at water, stars, clouds, moon, a mandala, crystal or flower.
7. Tree Meditation.
Imagine you are a big, ancient tree. Send your roots down into the ground. Bring up all the nutrients you need from the Earth, drinking them deeply into your being.
Release down what you no longer need, trusting that Mother Earth receives it as a fertilizing gift, and transforms that energy into something fresh and beautiful.
Stretch your branches up to the sky. Feel the wind caress your leaves. Trees teach us stillness, patience, presence, and connection to the Earth plane. Hug a tree and listen.
You can even go outside (what a concept, right?) and HUG A TREE.
Commune with the tree people. Here is a photo of me doing just that.
That’s right, I am a certified Tree Hugger. 🙂
(And caresser) FEEL the instant Earth energy.
8. Mountain Meditation.
Sit cross-legged on a cushion. Center yourself.
Now feel yourself as a giant mountain, timeless, wise, tall and strong.
Picture a mountain in your mind and become one with the mountain.
Ask the mountain, what medicine or message do you have for me?
9. Breathe Fully & Consciously.
Sitting as in #8, place your hands gently on your abdomen. Gently relax your head so your neck is loose. Let go of any tension, and breathe deeply, slowly, fully, into your belly. Feel your abdomen expand.
When you are full, be with the fullness for a moment.
Now exhale, gracefully, until you are empty. Be in the emptiness.
Notice what joy fills you in this emptiness!
Adapted from The Art of Breathing by Frederick Leboyer.
There is a whole branch of yoga called prana yoga that teaches dozens of deeply healing ways to breathe. Here are a few which I teach in our Higher Consciousness and Prosperous Goddess programs, and also taught at my Kaiser Permanente “Meditation for Busy People” course back in the 1990s:
Follow your breath, simply observing it.
Count your breaths.
Or listen to your own breath. This is called “ajapna mantram.”
And my all-time favorite, you-won’t -read-this-anywhere-else, simple, fast, works-great way to be more present is:
10. “Stop and Breathe” signs.
Whenever you see a stop sign, imagine that it says “Stop and Breathe” instead of just “Stop.” Then do it. (Ignore the frazzled driver behind you and send him or her a blessing.)
You will be amazed how long one conscious breath can be, and how refreshing.
My children are wonderful teachers as they remind (or should I say “demind”?) me of this consciousness-shifter when we are driving around together. I love it!
When we choose consciously to create the space for ourselves to be present, many wonderful blessings unfold. We reconnect with our own center and joy. We feel healthier. We treasure every moment.
Many of us feel guilty taking this time, as if we have to always be doing, producing something externally measurable, or giving to others. You don’t have to accept those unhealthy tapes. Reprogram that. Stop being a giveaholic and doaholic! (Can I just make up words like that? Dr. Seuss did, so I guess I can do it, too, although his are sillier.)
Recognize that you deserve peace, joy and health. Period.
Also, anything that heals you is inherently productive, to that beautiful little piece~peace of the Universe/God that is you, and also to all the world, for we are all interconnected.
In fact, as we replenish our own inner springs, we have more to give others, and we can give from a full place.
Bonus Tip #11: UNPLUG
Seriously. Make sure you have extended time over the holidays when you are not on the computer, your phone is turned off, and you are not even watching movies or TV. You are literally HERE in this world, relating to people you care about, doing other activities you enjoy.
Maybe it’s a great time for you to work on that writing or art or music project.
Or get out in Nature more.
Or reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to for a while.
Make a craft, have fun cooking and baking, sing some carols, visit neighbors.
Make the most of it!
Cultivating being present also enables us to be better listeners, parents, siblings, friends, and lovers. Perhaps you could invite some of your loved ones to stop and practice some of these techniques for being present together this holiday season.
Allow life’s cup of blessings to fill you. Slow down and drink it in.
Happy Holidays and may your every day feel wholly holy!
Which of these tips did you find most helpful?
Which will you commit to doing and sharing with others?
How can you stay present and balanced this month?
Please share your thoughts in a comment below. Thanks!
SAGE, The Prosperous GoddessTM is an Archangel Michael, Metatron, Divine Mother & Yeshua channel, intuitive abundance and soulwork business coach, shamanic healer, hypnotherapist, Reiki Master and teacher, Money Reiki Grand Master, Intuitive Angelic Miracle Healer and trainer, #1 best-selling author and interfaith minister.
Known as a catalyst for personal and planetary transformation, with a joy-filled teaching style, Sage dedicates her life to helping Lightworkers and heart-centered women love Self, Spirit & Life, awaken into the truth of who you truly are, connect with the Divine, prosper, thrive and shine!
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