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Be Present

July 15, 2012

The other night a friend of mine came into a meeting with a shirt that said simply “Be Present.”  It received a great deal of notice and comments as the evening progressed because all of us hold that simply phrase in aspiration.  We want to live in the moment… but this, for many of us, might be the most difficult of goals to achieve.

There is an old phrase that says… if you have one foot in the past and one in the future… you are probably pissing all over today.

I will take that one step further and remind myself (as I do more often than I care to admit) that I don’t only want to live in today, but I feel it best to live in each moment as it happens.

Stop. Smile Breathe.

As I will mention repeatedly throughout my writing, I am fear based.  I am not unique in this “affliction.”  It is rather common in the human condition to various degrees.  In the alcoholic it may be slightly more prevalent, to the point where our solutions have been drinking and using to provide ourselves with the courage that is needed.

What is there to fear?  There is any number or combinations of trouble, problem or drama that can become fearful if one is living in their past or projecting themselves to the future.  It is difficult to be in the moment when all you can do is think about what has happened or might occur in the minutes, hours, days, weeks or months ahead.  To be present one must rid themselves of the fear that takes us out of it.

This is where I stop, smile and breathe, right?

But that isn’t always very easy.  To tell oneself that the goal is to be in the present and to actually stop for any length of time in order to allow it’s occurrence are two separate pieces of a psychological puzzle.  One is a suggestion, decision, or choice, the other is an action, which, in my case, may often be difficult and require repetitive attempts, and in other periods just the action may be close to or completely impossible.

Being present manifests itself for me in good film and theater, a holiday in a place I love, moments of intimacy, and listening to good music.  The real world does not always provide me these moments and the struggle to be present will occur when in the many hours of living and working that take up the bulk of life.

The practice, however, must be taken.  The habit must be created and re-created over and over again.  The point of being present is obvious and important.  It is possible much like any solution I strive towards on a daily basis.  In many cases being present IS the solution.   I wake up in the morning and begin in the present and pray for the ability to remain in the present.

Today has been successful.

Remember: Stop. Smile. Breathe.

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  1. Past Future Present « PathB4U

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