Practicing Presence is the simple act of focusing one’s entire attention into the present moment. A no brainer you might say. It seems so simple. Just BE where you are, where your feet are rooted. How is it that we find it so difficult?
Ever notice when you walk through a cluttered room in your home how the clutter calls to you.
“You need to clean me up! This stuff is a safety hazard!”
The clutter is distracting, not to mention unattractive. We wish it would go away, but we’re too busy, or too lazy to deal with it. It keeps growing. Put one piece of junk mail on a table and soon there are a hundred, overwhelming us. It becomes a big deal, so we pretend it is not there. We try to ignore it, but each time we walk by it generates thoughts. We find those thoughts troublesome so we become insensitive to them. We seek to block them out with addictions that numb our senses, or rationalize our unfocused attitude. Maybe we blame someone else for the mess, avoid responsibility.
Consider this to be a metaphor for the condition of our inner world. It may include years of thought accumulations: upsets over past traumas; regrets over what we judge to be poorly made decisions (how could I have been so stupid!); ruminations over past interactions (I could have said it better this way); fears about future catastrophes (What if _____ happens!); concerns over what people think of us (Don’t let the neighbors see your mess); the list is endless.
The problem with this strategy is that thoughts evoke bodily reactions. We label these reactions emotions. If I fear being harmed at some point in the imagined future, my body immediately reacts, even though nothing is happening in this Now. Adrenaline levels rise, muscles tense up, frown lines appear on our faces, heart rate accelerates, blood pressure rises. All due to our “concern” about the clutter.
We become so preoccupied with these dysfunctional thought patterns we lose contact with the Source of Life, our participation in Life as it is happening. We are so “concerned” with our mistakes of the past and our fears of the future we lose the Precious Present, the one place and time Life is actually happening, NOW!!
So clear the deck, take out the trash, release attachment to what was, let go of fear over what’s to come, and passionately participate in the simplicity of the PRESENT!! IT’S A GIFT!