Staying Present

Ever notice how we disconnect from the moment?  We start to eat our lunch and it's gone and we barely remember taking a bite.  Or we are involved in a conversation with someone and realize we don't know what they've said.  Or we are watching television (no particular show) and before long, hours have passed. Time passes and we don't really know where it went... clock

It can be a sad realization when time passes so often that days or weeks go by with no feeling of satisfaction....  It can also be a hindrance to our healing and growth journey.

Staying present is a skill we can develop.  Meditation helps, but here's a simple exercise to begin developing the skill of mindfulness, or staying present:

  • Set a timer to go off at periodic intervals (every hour during the daytime would be ideal, but you do what works for you)
  • When that timer goes off, take 60 seconds to be mindful of the moment (see ideas below)
  • Have a small notebook or use an app on your phone to write the time and make notes about what you noticed
  • Do this every day for a week or two, then make notes of what you learned about yourself
If mindfulness (or staying present) is brand new for you, start simply.  Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Choose one of your five senses and focus on it all day....i.e., notice what you can touch (furniture, clothes, items at your desk) and what the sensation feels like on your hand
  • Name 5 things you see, 5 things you hear, 5 things you feel
  • Observe your thoughts and emotions for 60 seconds (without judgment....just notice)
  • Take one really deep breath in, then out (with eyes closed), then when you open your eyes....notice what your gaze falls on
I would love to hear any other ideas you might have to add to this list.  I would also love recommendations for apps on computers or smart phones to send a periodic reminder to be mindful.