Being present in this moment

In addition to the one-on-one inner work I do with clients, I also co-run Authentic Relating nights to practice communication that fosters deep connection with others and ourselves. At the last night, we did a simple but profound exercise on ‘curiosity’, where one person asks the other whatever questions they are curious about. In this case, I was the ‘subject’ and worked with a gentle, deep soul of a man I’d not met before.

I was talking about my uncertainty around whether a person dear to me, loves and cares about me as much as I do them, which has me feeling unsafe. He asked, “What would it feel like if you put aside all the beliefs and stories you have about the other person or situation? What is left?”

At first, I laughed, like ‘ha!, as if that’s possible!’, but I had a go and opened to it anyway.

I was left simply feeling the vulnerability and uncertainty of being human.

Surprisingly, in this moment, I could be okay with this, accept it, like this is just how it is for all of us. It was actually a relief, something I could rest in. And what was most marked, was that it brought me right into the exquisite present moment.

momentMy partner then started asking me how I felt about the present moment being the only security I had? “What if there was nothing else you could truly rest on?”, he asked.

Again, after a tremor of terror through my body, I sank into this possibility and felt… relief. The relief of not having my attention drawn away by past memories, concerns or dreams of the future, nor imaginings of other people and how they are feeling. Simply being here with me and my experience, now.

It felt like so much more of me was here, I had so many more resources and richness at my finger tips. The possibilities are endless from here.

Why am I telling you this story?

Because so much of our pain comes from not accepting where we’re at, not being with what we’re feeling, right now.

The mind seems to have an essential distrust of the present moment and what is occurring right now.

It will do all it can to bring you out and distract you with something more exciting, charged, painful or ‘important’. Changing the habits of the mind is no small task, but the more you can let yourself be lured by the exquisite peace experienced when you’re in the essence of the moment, the easier it is to keep returning.

Don’t let clichés stop you

Don’t get me wrong, over the past decade or so, I’ve generally had a scowling response each time I’ve heard or read, ‘just be in the present’, ‘there is nothing but the present’, ‘today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present’, blah, blah, blah. But there is truth hidden in these clichés.

How to get present

being-present-nowSo when you feel yourself caught in a thought storm, worrying about something that’s already happened or could in the future, trying to second guess someone’s response or how they might be feeling… just stop! And ask yourself…

What am I feeling right now? What is going on in my body? What are the sensations?

Don’t try to analyse, process it or even make it feel better. Just accept that it’s there, whatever it is, and give yourself the space and time to experience it. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but I notice when I’m fully in a state or feeling, it invariably changes or shifts into something else.

And keep asking yourself:
What if everything I need is here, now? How would it feel to accept all that’s happening right now?


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