Be Present –12 Ideas
Synopsis: Be Present –12 Ideas — I thought it might be nice to start 2017 with some ideas for being and staying present. Give the weird situations in the world, a little presence will go a long way.
12. Appreciating Your Body’s Wisdom
It’s time to reclaim the 95% of yourself that you minimize and disparage – your body.
Admit it, you’re living as a talking head, and hauling the rest of you around because you can’t figure out what else to do with your body.
I spend a lot of time with people who are in absolute denial about their bodies, and what their bodies want/need. I look and see tightness, discomfort, pain. I ask, “What’s up?” and I get a flood of stories from the past and the future.
The flood of stories focusses on stuff that has nothing at all to do with what is going on right now.
I suggest taking a breath (or several,) and then some focus on what’s going on below the neck. Both Breathwork and Bodywork help with this focus. If the person is willing to do either or both, I can almost guarantee that something immediate will happen.
The sighs and tears and anger and sadness — and the passion for life and for release — starts flowing to the surface. Things un-felt, repressed, buried under the weight of all of those… stories.
Push a little deeper, and the up-flow of emotions might cause a panicky retreat back into their heads. Because, after all, torturing ourselves with stories is “normal;” feeling fully takes both effort and courage.
Back when I used to teach workshops about all of this, I wold encourage more breathing. I wanted the person to choose to feel, and that requires a whole lot of no-thought.
If the person chooses to hold to the feeling while being present in their body, they learn to experience an easy flow of emotion… and a decided lessening of the drama they are creating.
But, boy is it hard to persuade people to go there. I decided long ago to simply offer my friends the opportunity to find presence through breath (and Bodywork) and then to just sit there to see what they choose.
11. Living Honestly
Be who you are
The idea of living honestly is one of the hardest “sells” on the planet. Mostly, people have a lot of excuses for not being honest, either with others or with themselves.
- Some actually resent the whole “honesty” concept – they figure “adults have a right to privacy.” In other words, they see having secrets as part of being an adult.
- Others think that if they are honest about who they are and what they are about, the people around them will run screaming from the room.
Living Honestly is a never-ending trip from self-discovery to self-reflection to self-revelation.
This process is emphatically not about discovering your faults and then making yourself miserable about them. Living Honestly all about digging in deeply, revealing (to self and others) the depths of yourself, and emphatically it’s about stopping lying to yourself about your inability to make better choices.
Your job is to learn about the depth and height of yourself, and to bring that person into full expression in the world. It’s about enacting more of yourself, by risking being who you are.
10. Embracing Movement
Movement and change is our only reality. As the Buddha reminded us, you cannot cling, for even one moment, to anything – a person, an experience, even a single breath. You cannot cling to your life – it is passing, and soon you will no longer be.
Movement and the passage of time are intrinsically linked. Once you see this, you will recognize that the pain and drama of our lives have nothing to do with what is happening right now. All of that pain comes from our fantasies that what is happening right now ought to be different.
As we have that thought, our brains get involved, and soon we are just sitting there, immobile, telling ourselves stories of past and/or future.
The way out is active participation in the present moment, emphasis on active. You incarnated (literally “came into flesh – carne”) to have a body, (i.e. to feel and to get around) and bodies need airing out, dancing, jumping, stretching and generally need to be in contact with other warm bodies. So, what are you doing to be present and in your body?
The lovely Darbella and I exercise, and we dance, and we hug, touch, and cuddle. We work (it is work) at being present with ourselves (the only place and person we can be present with) as often as we remember to.
9. Committing Wholeheartedly
This is a biggie.
Most people dick around with and chip away at life, as opposed to tackling life both wholeheartedly and whole-headedly.
For example, high-level wellness is something that is within each of our grasps; all it requires is taking ourselves seriously by acting differently. Sadly, wellness is not a goal most sign on for, because of the effort involved.
Back in September, Dar and I committed to one hour of vigorous exercise 4 times a week. We’re mostly sticking to it, even with travel. Let me tell ya, exercising in Costa Rica in the heat is a “trip,” and we’ve both come out of sessions nauseous.
And back we go, because… commitment.
A major way to screw up getting somewhere on our life path is to choose to do only enough to mitigate pain, as opposed to pushing through the pain to see what lies beyond it.
Relationships suffer from seeking “no pain.” People think, “No pain, no problem.” But everything always changes – and then the relationship goes south – because only the “minimal effort to maintain the status quo” was applied.
One of things I notice as I and my friends age is how often people only work on themselves after “the damage is done.” This is because it is “easier” to reset one’s pain thermostat to “bearable,” as opposed to transforming themselves. The older we get, the more entrenched we can become, if that’s what we choose.
I’d suggest that wholehearted commitment is necessary for a fulfilled and fulfilling life. Dabbling, playing-at-life, flitting about while time passes and life goes by, seems to me the ultimate in wasting one’s life.
Yet, many are the excuses. And you are never any better than your best excuse.
8. Putting Yourself First
No, it’s not selfish to put yourself first. I’m not talking about steam-rolling over others. I’m talking about taking your self, your life, and your path with the utmost seriousness.
Many people dedicate their lives to others, and not in a good way. Most engage in an, “If I treat them well, they’ll treat me well” game that never plays out. Why?
When you make it your mission to live for another, all you create it the expectation that you will do this forever. It does not engender reciprocity. It engenders dependence and expectations – demands – for more and better from you.
Any one who accuses you of selfishness is saying, “Hey! Wait a minute! You are supposed to put me first! How dare you think of yourself and not of me?” In other words, they are doing (being selfish) what they are accusing you of!
The only way your life will ever be other than it is, is when you do something differently. Period. Anything else is a fluke. You can’t change your life, your prospects, your relationships, your body, without changing something – wishing does not make it happen.
When is the right time for you???
Right now, of course!!
7. Creating More Passion
Passion is the burning, internal fire of purpose. Passion is a path of self-development – this fire is what drives us to go deeper – to become more of who we actually are. Passion is all about desire focused on a goal and in a direction.
Other stuff (people, places, things) does not create passion in us. Passion is an inside job. This is why we can be passionate about someone or some thing at one point, and not passionate in the next breath.
Passion feels hot and chargy. Thus, it is a prime mover and motivator – so long as we do not attach to or get hooked on the feeling. If we do, we become passion junkies, and the only goal is “more passion.”
The form of passion that is helpful is passionate direction. For enlightenment. For a noble goal or cause. For more depth of self-knowing and for more depth in relationship.
This kind of passionate acting is actually a path.
The other 6 “ideas” next issue!