Tools – Living in the present

Living in the present moment


I like the idea of living as much as I can in the present moment but I find it incredibly hard. My mind is so full of thoughts about the past and the future that I often forget this moment is all that exists right now. When I bring myself into the present moment I don’t have to worry about what is going to happen or what has already happened; I can just be still.

Being present to what is happening right now is a powerful way to get in touch with source energy and our inner selves. We let go of our thoughts about everything and just exist in the spaciousness of the universe. Sounds like it should be easy but it’s not. We’re so used to believing that our mind, the voice in our head, is who we really are. But we are much deeper and broader than this monologue or dialogue that keeps going around in our minds.

In meditation we often let go of the thoughts and sink into a deeper experience of reality but the real trick is do this in daily life. To make life a spiritual practice we have to continually bring ourselves back to the present moment and let go of our thoughts. When we start complaining or criticising we realize we are in our heads and we can bring ourselves back to inner stillness and spaciousness. When we are worrying endlessly about a problem we stop and take a step back into stillness. When our minds are going a million miles an hour or in circles we can stop by focusing on our bodies or focus upon our sense perceptions.

There are several ways to be more present. One is to pay attention to our bodies and the internal sensations; bring your awareness to any part of your body and pay attention to that part. The mind automatically stops for a while. A second way is to pay attention to your sense perception; bring your awareness to a tree or the sky and just look without judging or thinking. Or pay attention to the sounds that are happening around you. A third way is to focus on your breathing, the inspiration and expiration, the feeling of the air moving in and out. All of these techniques stop the mind from thinking; even if it is only for a few seconds. They bring us back to the present moment.

These techniques help us rebalance and let go of mind but it’s even harder to do this for long periods. But this is one of the challenges of holistic medicine – to always be striving to spend more time in the present moment and less time in our rational thinking. The rational thinking mind is mainly where ego resides so when we get stuck in our thinking we get stuck in ego. When we can become more present to life we begin to live from our inner self and become more whole and more authentic.

Getting stuck in our rational thinking mind is a habit we have all got into; it’s a product of the culture we live in and how we learnt to exist in this culture. We can change but the change is a cultural shift, which is a paradigm shift. It’s shifting from ego based reality to a reality that is spiritually based. And the spiritual basis is akin to the new physics where everything is connected and is one huge web of energy. When we become present we tap into this huge web of interconnected energy and we heal our disconnection with source energy and with our inner selves. We become the real person beneath our ego based exterior and that person/spirit starts to shine through more and more. The more we live in the present and tap into our source the more whole we become. At its essence this is what holistic medicine and healing is all about; tapping into our source and staying in touch with that part of us as much as we can. This part of us can bring about healing on all levels.