present moment awareness practice
Is it possible to always be in the present moment?
I think it is a lovely idea to say, "Yes of course". However the reality is, it is not always possible be living in the present moment.
There will always be things we need to do, or to focus on that is future based.
More-so, there will always be past events and things we might need to remember, or learn from, or work through.
Essentially, there will always be clutter.
That is why present moment awareness is very much a practice. It is something we can use as a way to reduce the clutter in our lives.
Essentially, by practicing present moment awareness you are discovering a way to reduce stress not completely get rid of it.
The Clutter Purge Myth
Have you ever seen the movie "The Purge"?
The idea behind it is that for every year, for one day, there are no consequences for criminal actions. It is the one day of the year people can act out of their hate, act out of their anger, act out their violent needs with no repercussions.
They get one day to purge that.
The problem with purges is they are never complete cleanses. Atleast from a mental health perspective, you are holding a lot of stuff inside of you. The hateful thoughts, the angry feelings, and the urges to be violent doesn't dissapear for the rest of year. It still lives inside of you.
How does this connect with clutter? The clutter around us? Or even the clutter within us?
Raise your hand if you have ever heard of Marie Kondo.
Marie Kondo is a self-proclaimed tidying expert. As "minimilism" to simplify live has become a very big thing, so did Marie Kondo. The idea being that the less we have, the less clutter we have in our life. Furthermore, the more we surround ourselves with things of "joy", the happier we could be.
Personally, I think it is a beautiful concept and I am sure that many people have found benefits from it. I believe everything we do to help ourselves is a beautiful thing, but realisitically the clutter that exists in life needs to be faced. Not avoided.
This idea that we purge the clutter around us in order to "fix" the way we are living...is no different than the "purge day" in the movie. It doesn't really de-clutter where we need to de-clutter.
It is only a visual representation for what we are craving inside of us.
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As I said in "De-Clutter Within: A Present Moment Practice" (See episode above), we have found so many more ways to clutter our lives and our mind apart from our physical settings.
For instance, think about our list of things we have to do in any given day, look at our schedules, look at our work, our social lives, even our time on social media. All day long we are finding more things to add to our lists.
So would the answer be to slim down those lists? Is it possible to minimize our bills, our to-do lists, our schedules, or our work? Not always.
We cannot minimize everything and we cannot simplify all those things. So what can we do?
We can de-clutter from within. We can take the break we need so that we find clarity and new energy as we face the natural clutter in our lives.
A PResent Moment Practice
There are many ways we can practice present moment awareness. It might involve re-thinking how you relax.
As I say in "De-clutter Within: A Present Moment Practice", there are many ways we avoid the present moment even we are just "chillin'".
Here are some great ideas to cultivate your present moment practice:
- Mindfulness Meditation (if you need help with this check out app's like: Muse ,Headspace , 10 Percent Happier , Calm App
- Breathwork- Getting in touch with our source and focusing on it can be an incredible experience. This can be as simple as taking 3- 7 minutes of focusing on your in and out breath. There also great options for patterns of breathing that can help with different things going on in your life. Learn more about breathwork on the Good Therapy website
- Ask yourself, "What is something that reminds me of where I am?" For me, it can be as simple as looking out my window and seeing the tree and just staring at it. I let myself look and actually see it. I describe it. What do the leaves look like? How do the branches bend? What shapes do I see? I I spend time with that image or that tree, I am not in my clutter, I am in that moment with this view and that experience.
Any moment I take (or moments), to observe or be in a moment- without the distractions of my to-do lists, without living in my cluttered mind- I am practicing present moment awareness. This allows me face everything else I have to face or do. Practicing even just a little bit, I see a little more clearly. I can come at the clutter with fresh eyes. I might carry a little less stress as I move forward.
It is never about getting rid of the clutter, but allowing for me to be in in more control. It allows a clarity in my management.
What are some activities you already do that bring you into the present moment?
What are some activities you might use to practice present moment awareness?
Let me know in the comment section below what you have come up with
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