2019 is a year to powerfully create what you want out of life – a new job, a new lover, better friendships, better health, greater patience, courage to be who you are – what is it that you desire? A simple question that rarely gets the focus it deserves. Why? Because we are busy living wondering what is about to happen next, or preoccupied reviewing the past, wondering why things haven’t gone our way.
To be present means we let go of what we cannot change, and anchor deeply in what is happening here, now, right in front of our eyes. Why is this so important? When we focus on the now, worry, apprehension, anxiety, irritation, and other negative, draining emotions simply cease to create problems for us. Sure, emotions still happen, but the difference is they don’t rule us.
This is why the practice of grounding is so important. Grounding may seem airy-fairy, but when you break it down it’s pretty straightforward. To be grounded is to be here, in this moment, the mind is in no other place than now.
It can be as simple as engaging your five senses – what from your current environment are you smelling, hearing, seeing, tasting, and feeling? Notice how often you are sensing from your past, or guessing at what you might be sensing in your future – both are stories that overcomplicate our existence. So keep it simple. Want to become a Jedi at staying present? Test out one of the following tips to find your centre…
1) Breath awareness
If you are fully engaged in your breathing there is no other place you can be but here. Find this challenging? Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. As you do this, set an intention for how you want to feel and state it in the present tense. For example, I am relaxed. Repeat this thought silently as you breathe.
2) Get outside
Seriously, just stand outside, look up at the sky, pay attention to the trees, the wide open spaces, anything you can do to connect with what’s natural will do your mind and body wonders. Brownie points for sitting on the earth.
3) Take off your shoes
Can’t get outside? Walk barefoot.
4) Look in someone else’s eyes
Seem strange? Try it out and let the results prove themselves.
5) Say I love you
Connecting to the experience of love releases endorphins and other feel good chemicals in the brain. One small move in the right direction will create more positive thoughts and emotions. This can be to a loved one, or even better, say it to yourself!
6) Light a candle
No candles? Burning incense or essential oils will do. Let your nose pull you back into the present moment.
7) Make food your friend
Creating a healthy relationship to food helps us to nourish body and mind. Ever notice the heavy feeling after non-nutritious meal? Eat light, whole foods. Eat mindfully (ahem, aka staying present). Be thankful for the food you are receiving (food is from the earth and literally connects you with it).
8) Self care, please!
What does your body cry out for that you’re normally ‘too busy’ to make happen? Show your body (and your mind!) that you are committed to slowing down. Sometimes this is as simple as a hot bath.
9) Get into your body
Where else could I possibly be, you ask. Well, living in our mind, getting lost in thoughts and tangled in emotions, we sometimes forget that the body is a simple gateway to the here and now. Go for a run, swim, do yoga, anything that helps you focus on the sensation in your physical form.
No excuses, we are all born to dance. After all, there’s a reason human beings have been doing it for millennia. No one is watching. Throw on your favourite song and let loose.