The practice of being fully present (an expression used in the art of meditation), feeling your heart and greeting the next moment with an open mind, can be done at any time. You can do this before the children come running down the stairs, before a complex situation at work, when difficult emotions as fear or grief arises or just when doing the dishes. Being fully present is not always easy. It is about being aware of your senses, your heart, and your body at any particular moment, without worrying or hoping for the next. It is a moment you check in with yourself, with how you are feeling, how your body feels and accept what is going on.
You can place a hand on your heart and feel its warmth. Connecting with love and acceptance. That is not always easy either. We find it difficult at times to be kind to ourselves. We might think of ourselves as being not-ok and to place a hand over our heart might initially generate strong emotions. When that happens it can be helpful to have a sort of understanding what these emotions are, so that when we practice being fully present; being with our emotions, senses, thoughts and open heart, we do not have to run away or distract ourselves.
When I struggle in the day to be fully present, when I think I have too many woes and worries, when I have trouble not anticipating the next moment. On such a day I might go to the beach. Walking on the beach gives me that feeling of insignificance. It helps me therefore to lessen the constant stream of worries and plans and anticipations in my head, to create a bit more distance between the unnecessary chatter in my head, the models I have created and create perpetually. Keeping some distance from the thoughts in my head help me to stop identifying with the models of the world, myself, and the future which are so persistent in my head.
It is then that I already have become aware of my senses …..the air, the slightly salty taste, the sound of the waves, the texture of the sand on the beach, the sky and the openness towards the horizon and before I know it I have not anticipated the next moment…..and there I am…… being in my body, sensing… and the moment just as it is.
The peace of wild things by Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and I am free.
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