Do you ever stop and pay attention to your thoughts? What do you notice? Are your thoughts going around and around, like a gerbil running on the wheel? Are they even relevant to the current moment?
Are you a prisoner to your mind and the constant continuous thoughts, chatter. In the middle of the night, when you are trying to sleep, is the mind a continual stream of conversation going nowhere fast. Is it thinking what about this, and that. I should have done, and I am sorry for that, what if… The mind worries about yesterday and tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. OMG, stop, please, please be quiet. I bet some of you can relate to this.
Thomas Hubel talks about when we have an experience that has not yet been processed or digested; it gets parked in the garage of the mind; there may not have been enough time and space for integration of the experience. When this experience is parked in the garage, it is still running in the background, creating stress, and it prevents one from being fully present. No matter how one tries to ignore the chatter, it just keeps surfacing, and that keeps you from being fully aware, grounded, and present.
Okay what do you do? Just stop, stop now, notice what your mind is holding you captive with.
At this moment, you have a choice; you have the opportunity to put into practice what I call here now.
If your current situation has you in the middle of a meeting or work, you can tell your mind, yes I know the thoughts are there, and I promise to take the time later for digestion and integration.
Step one; Hello mind, hello thoughts, stop-stop this constant chatter. Get off of the autopilot mode. Become aware of the moment, and the surroundings. Are the thoughts current in the here and now? If they are not, take control of the mind, bring it to the present, its called mindfulness. Thus allowing time space for digestion to happen
Step two; Become aware of your breath. Breath purposefully, deeply, gentle, and slow. When done, breath sends a message to the nervous system to relax. Also, it increases the unconsciousness state of safety, thus providing space which allows creating greater awareness of now.
Step three; Put the mind to work following the breath. Tell the mind to follow the inhale, in through the nose down the throat into the lungs, side ribs, and belly. Hold your breath gently for a second, scan your body for tension, if you find tension just notice it. Then let your mind follow and stay with the breath as it leaves your body., fully relaxing on the exhale. Do this for a few minutes and check in. Did the chatter stop, did your body relax? Where is the running garble of the mind? Acknowledge any peace and relaxation you may feel. After you do this for a few minutes, your whole somatic experience changes to one of calm. Calm allows integration and relaxation.
Step four; As you keep your mind on your breath staying present notice the moment of now. Is there anything to worry about in the now of the moment? If there isnt feel the spaciousness of that. How do you feel? Start noticing, how often are your genuinely present to the Now.
When one is in the company of others and you bring yourself into the moment of now via breath, being present with awareness, and surroundings, one is much more able to be present for others as well.. Being present in the now, allows you to take note of the immediate conditions of now. Most of the time, the current now is safe from harm, and there is no real danger in the now, this confirming presence of place, belonging and peace.
The present moment is all there is. We can’t do anything about yesterday. We don’t honestly know what tomorrow will bring. By being in the now with awareness, integration belonging and peace happen naturally.