Being Present in the Age of Urgency!

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.’
~Thich Nhat Hahn

No matter how out-of-control your day is, no matter how stressful your job or life becomes, the act of being present can become an oasis.

What are we busy doing?

In our urgent world, there are distractions everywhere. Between kids and marriages, the incessant pull of Facebook and constant flow of tweets, the never-ending pop-ups of photos on Instagram – there is no shortage of things demanding our attention.

How does one slow down in a culture set on being faster? Stop and think about it…

  • We use the microwave to cook our food more quickly…then we stand at the counter to eat so we’re done faster.
  • We drive faster cars.
  • We get 5G because 3G and 4G just doesn’t do the trick anymore.
  • We prefer “Drive-through” instead of sitting in a quiet corner and enjoying our meal.
  • We have “instant” foods so we can eat on the go.
  • We can’t tell the difference between Starbucks and Folgers because we don’t “slow down long enough to smell the coffee.” Or is it “smell the roses?”

And, we multitask to be more productive… right? I get so much going on that I’m then too busy to remember what I set out to do.

So, what can we do to slow down? Actually, the answer is pretty simple but not always so easy to put into practice: LEARN TO BE PRESENT.

First, what gets in the way of being present:

  • My own reactive lizard brain.
  • Social media and other digital distractions.
  • Too many things all at once whether it’s the news, what to wear, the work to be done or events to attend.
  • The needs and concerns of my children.
  • Dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, and my pet, Snickers.
  • Somebody else’s “urgency” becomes my “emergency!”

So, how do we bring calm and peace to the middle of a stress-full, chaotic day?

What really matters

I don’t remember where I was at the time. But I do remember waking up to the devastating news of the catastrophic fire in California and all the people who had lost their homes from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina that same year.

I’ve lost count of the how many photos I’ve seen on Facebook of kids with chocolate-smeared faces. But I remember the friends and family mourning the drowning of a young man down the road.

It’s those things that tug at our hearts we remember the

most. It’s the tears we’ve shed with family. It’s the all-night conversations we have with friends we see once every three years.

Here’s what I’m trying to say: I want my priorities back in line.

Day by day, I’m learning to re-prioritize. I’m making efforts to talk on the phone more versus texting. I’m closing the laptop when I’m finished with a project instead of staring into cyberspace. I’m allowing myself to be more vulnerable in my relationships. I’m choosing to live every day in gratitude! I’m taking time for myself and just being quiet by taking 3-4 deep breaths, several times per day.

I still have some things to accomplish but I’m much further along than where I used to be. And, I’m so much happier! I thank the Universe and all those from whom I’ve learned. I want the word “busyness” out of my vocabulary. I want to be present, focused, alert and compassionate.

Don’t you? So Be in the moment…Breathe through the moment…and Break free from the moment.

Visualize a new way for how you want to show up
What priorities do you need to realign today?
Are you truly living or just living busily?
If it’s the latter, how’s that working for you?
What’s your plan for how to show up differently in the New year?

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