Do you remember in elementary school when the teacher took roll, and she/he asked the class to say “present” or “here” when their name was called? And if you weren’t in class that day, you were marked absent. Are there any areas in your life where you are not present? Physically? Emotionally? Maybe it’s your spiritual life, your relationship with family, your goals/dreams, your marriage, or maybe you’re not even showing up for yourself. There might be areas in your life that is calling for your active presence and you. are. not. there.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are times where we can’t be or give 100% to everything all the time. We are not perfect nor robots. But, when are those times where we are not showing up because our priorities and values are out of balance, or because of FEAR. Sometimes our thoughts become so preoccupied with just getting through the day-to-day that we drudge through life as zombies and lose sight of what's really important to us; then we end up missing the moment.
Here are four examples that can prevent you from being “present”:
- “I focus on the future far too often”- Now, there is nothing wrong with planning for the future, like vacations, saving for child(ren)’s college, or having a vision for a new business. However, it’s when you worry far too much about what you think is going to happen, what you think should happen, that you deprive yourself from enjoying what currently is happening in life. Worrying about tomorrow interferes with how you operate today.
- “I focus a lot on the past”-There’s nothing we can do about experiences/events that have already occurred, and “replaying” or agonizing over them usually doesn’t do any good. By reliving parts of our lives where we’ve made mistakes or wishing we could have something/someone back or even being angry about how poorly we were treated, only causes us to become stuck and re-experience the pain. It’s beneficial to use those experiences to move forward. A bit of encouragement - Analyze what happened, learn the lessons, and press forward.
- “My priorities/values are out of whack”- When you are in the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to get distracted from those things that matter the most and eventually become unbalanced. Every person has their own individual priorities; for some it’s their career, accomplishments and gaining accolades; for others it's God, family and health. Whatever is at the core of importance for you, make sure the foundation is strong. For example, if the foundation of a building is shaky and unstable the building will begin to crumble. If you are not tending to the aspects of your life that is priority, please believe you will begin to fall apart.
- “I’m always on the go” - When your speed in life is always on “fast forward” or constantly in Sonic the Hedgehog mode, you are unable to appreciate the current aspects of your life. In the morning, before getting ready for the day take time to pray and meditate, which will help you focus in on the day. Also, this will involve practice, but take time to actually engage in whatever activity you are doing and not think about the other 10 things you have to do. Press “pause” and give your full attention to what is occurring at that moment.
As you practice tending to your priorities, you will become more present in life, and will truly be able to say you are "here"
Reflection: Are there any places in your life where you are not present? Did you see yourself in any of these examples? What steps are you taking to change? Please feel free to share and leave a comment.
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