Today, we are constantly bombarded with distractions that are vying for our attention, and this makes being present in each moment a true challenge. Its as if the whole world is blasting us on high all the time, a flurry of ADD madness that we have to try to deflect in order to focus. One could say that the quest of being present is a spiritual practice these days, and for many, is a lost art.
What does it mean to be fully present in the moment? It feels like contentment, a full heart, and a deep sense of satisfaction. It’s a feeling in your heart that expands into your entire body, pulsating through and enlivening your cells before radiating outwards into your environment.
As a practice, you can be present with someone by giving them your undivided attention. Look them deeply in their eyes, see and sense their soul, and give them a solid fifteen minutes of shared life time. See how challenging this can be at times. There can be so much flitting all around the person’s head, and you are trying to lock eyes with them and focus only on them, rather than the periphery din. Do not let distractions derail you from the sacredness of the moment shared with your loved ones.
I have noticed that by giving my children fifteen minutes of my time, they feel connected and secure to continue about their day. I say to them “I really want to be present with you. Tell me YOUR story.” This is a solid chunk of time where I make it all about them and do not allow for any distractions. It is incredible how potent these moments are! We are all busy, stressed, and trying to balance a lot at once. Sometimes we lament not having enough quality time with our children. I can say from experience that a dedicated fifteen minutes of direct, engaged contact is all they need sometimes. We all just want to be seen, to connect, to feel loved, and thus feel secure. This enables us to continue on our day, and the rekindling is so critical for our emotional security.
Being present as a spiritual practice is a seriously challenging art form of human interconnectivity these days with all the technology and hectic timelines of our days. If we can take the time to connect everyday with our children, our partner, and our friends, we will find the rewards to be immense and rich.
For those of us who have a super hectic life and want to connect, but feel overwhelmed at the thought of how to begin, try this:
Start with one minute a day. Build up your new healthy addiction to being present in the moment instead of programmed distractions or checking out. Give your kids, partner, friends, or self one solid minute of time. Set your timer on your phone if you need to. Feel how that one minute can seem like five. Sense how time seems to stretch when you slow it down. Colors get brighter, sounds are more audible, your breathing grows calmer, the entire universe slows down to meet you. In this space of being present, this is what it feels like to be fully alive.
Once you can start this practice and extend it to as long as is possible for you, you will notice that you can coast through your day. You seem to have more time. Every human interaction is meaningful and truly a connection. This connection to the moment is it.