Where are you? Are you at work? In the store? On vacation? In the garden? Wherever you are, can you be fully present in the moment?
What does it mean to be present? We here this all the time from so many people that talk about spirituality and mindfulness. They always ask the question about being present.
It's not easy to be present for most of us. Being present to me is about being aware of yourself, your surroundings, your feelings, the quiet of your mind. In this technology driven world it's not easy to be present. Our minds are racing from one thought to the next with what to do, where to go, how to keep up.
The breath, it's about the breath and letting the body come to awareness of the actual rhythm of breathing. When we are consciously aware of our breathing, really aware, as in witnessing the inhale and being curious about where does the inhale go, where does the oxygen go, what is it doing as we inhale. Witnessing the exhale and wondering what is happening in that moment. Being fully present in the moment of breathing. This is a way back to being present in the moment. Our breath.
The next time you are overwhelmed, wherever you are, stop, breath and notice your breathing. Become fully aware of your inhale and your exhale, maybe even count your inhales and exhales, bring the awareness fully into your breath.
See if this awareness can bring you into the present moment, with all it has to teach. Whether standing in line at the store, sitting outside in nature, or at your desk at work. It takes a second to check in and notice your breathing. Can you stay in that moment for maybe just 30 seconds? Practice this daily or every other day. Be gentle with yourself. Being present isn't always easy, but when we allow and embrace the moments that we have, we can set down the cell phone, the computer, the emotions and let our inner stillness speak to us.
Try it. Right now, just take a moment to close your eyes and watch your breath. Bring one hand under your ribcage in the center and one hand above over the heart center. Inhale, can you notice the lower hand move out just a bit, in expansion? Next, as you exhale, can you notice the subtle contraction on the exhale. Stay there for about 10 breaths!
Excellent! You have just become present in the moment.
Peace and happy breathing!