Are you struggling with being distracted? I know I often struggle with not being truly present in the moment. The reason this is so important is that ALL of your personal power lies in the present moment.
When we live too much in the past, we’re living in regret, maybe even in victim land, and we may have some sadness or depression. When we live too much in the future we may have a lot of fear or anxiety.
We are giving our power away to all those things. Whatever we’re distracted by in the present moment, we give little bits of our energy and power away to.
If you feel like you don’t have the energy and power you need to live the life you want, it’s probably because you’re giving it all away.
When you can bring yourself back to the present moment, you get back your energy and your power. There’s nothing more amazing than somebody who’s truly present in the moment.
I don’t think I have ever have met, especially a child, who was more present in the moment than our Thomas. He brings all of his power, and all of his energy right now, and in every moment.
It was awards day at his school, and Stevie was talking to him about awards day and said, “Are you going to get an award buddy?” And he said, “I don’t think so. I think they only give that to kids who don’t get in trouble,” and Stevie said, “Well I bet you’re going to get a bunch of them. You never get in trouble do you?” Thomas kind of snickered and said, “Dad, I get in trouble every day.”
But I knew how his teacher was going to do awards, and she is the most precious angel ever to have graced the earth. I didn’t know what the award was going to be, but the girls and I went to awards day, and I was already walking into the building feeling emotional because I know how much she loves him and I know how much he loves her.
I wanted to be really there for all of it, so I thought, “Okay, Miss Edie, forget everything else. Just savor this moment. Be present in this moment.” I enjoyed the whole thing so much that I really couldn’t stop thinking about it.
When we got there, they did all their pledges. It was so precious. They sang their little patriotic songs. Then she started giving the awards. She wouldn’t say the kids’ names before she gave the award. She would start describing the kid and then give the award.
What was so cute is the kids would know who she was talking about. And when she started talking about Thomas, she said, “I’ve never met anyone ever in my life with so much of a zest for life. With so much enthusiasm.” And everybody started saying, “It’s Thomas, it’s Thomas.” And she said, “He changes the room when he walks in,” and everybody knew it was Thomas.
It was so sweet when he got this award for enthusiasm!
I recently listened to a podcast, and Jordan Peterson was talking about the root word of the word enthusiasm means full of the spirit. So as soon as she said the word, I was already crying, and I just started thinking about how much magic this kid brings to my life.
So much of it is because of this powerful presence, present in the moment, ready for what’s to come, ready to experience things that you can only experience in the present moment.
Guess what you miss when you aren’t really present in the present moment? You miss all the good stuff!
If you’re sitting there worried about your past or worried about your future, worried about the bills, what you’re going to do, or mulling over the past, you’re missing all the good stuff.
I heard somebody say our sense of time intersects with God’s sense of time in one place, THE PRESENT MOMENT. God is present in the moment. When we miss the present moment, we miss Him. We also miss the fruits of His spirit.
Think of all the things we miss.
All the good stuff is in the present moment, and we are often distracted and not really there for it.
1. Pay attention to your thoughts.
Start to pay attention to your thoughts. When I pay attention to my thoughts, so often they’re nothing related to the present moment, nothing. When I redirect them to the present moment, I get to experience what I experienced last Friday in Thomas’ school.
Nothing could have distracted me from that moment. I wanted to be fully present. I wanted to experience everything. The sounds, everything in the moment.
I noticed so often that I’m not there. Are your thoughts in the present moment? This is where God is. This is where all His fruits of the Spirit are, right here in this moment, right now. They can only be had in the present moment. It’s all we really have.
2. Pay attention to who you’re with.
Paying attention is the gift of the present. I’m as guilty as any. How often are we with people, but we’re not with them? You know who knows that more than anybody else? The people that you’re not really with, they know.
Thomas will bust my chops for this faster than anything, “You weren’t even listening.” He said that to me last night actually. I was doing a story about him, and I was typing up the little story on my phone. He was mad because I wasn’t tracking with him. They know when we’re with them.
How are they doing?
What are they feeling?
Make eye contact.
Do you realize how often we don’t make eye contact?
3. Pay attention to your body.
One of the best ways to come back into the present is to come back into your body. Often I will ask myself, how am I feeling? Like what’s going on in my actual body, because I think one of the things that’s hardest to do.
We talk about this a lot in life mentoring school, my coaching program. I find that one of the things that’s hardest to do is to actually feel your emotions. I teach people how to do feel their feelings because it’s a powerful skill.
Once you can feel your emotions, you’re not afraid to do anything. You’re not afraid to set big goals because you know how to feel disappointed and rejected, and how to experience failure.
One of the reasons I think we want to skip the present moment is because we don’t like the emotion we have. Something really powerful that I often teach people how to do is be present.
Decide what are you feeling.
Why are you feeling that?
What thoughts are causing that feeling?
Is that something I want to feel?
Process through it.
If I need to process through it. Oftentimes that’s exactly what we need to do. We need to process through it, and then decide, how do I want to feel? What do I need to think in order to feel that way?
In order to become present in your actual body, you have to ask yourself how you feel in this moment right now?
4. Pay attention to your breath.
This is probably one of the ways that I do it the most often. I will just take a few deep breaths.
How many of you even in the course of reading this, you’re already gone? You’re already distracted? You’re already not here with me? Come back to me and let’s do this together.
Take a few really deep breaths.
Deep breath in through the nose.
Deep breath out through the nose.
Again, deep breath in.
Deep breath out.
Your breath is present with you in the present, so becoming conscious of my breathing is one way that I bring myself back, to the present.
5. Pay attention to the powerful presence of God in your life.
Pay attention to the presence of God in your midst right now. This is where He can be experienced, in the moment, right now.
The capacity to experience joy is right now.
The capacity to experience peace is now.
When you worry about the future, you don’t really experience peace for the future. You have peace and you have it now.
I want you to think of all the best things in life. They come from being present. Think about how your life would change if you brought the generous power of your presence to everything you did. The energy that you’re now giving away to worry and sadness and fear. You’re giving it all away and you don’t have that energy to bring to this current present moment.
This is something that I think we have to practice, that we don’t necessarily automatically get good at. I am committed, especially this summer with Tom out of school, to presence.
I want to be present for myself.
We talk about this a lot in my mentoring school, you know what happens when you decide not to be present for yourself? You start to buffer with all kinds of things. You don’t want to be present with yourself so you overeat. You scroll social media. You spend money.
Really being present with ourselves is a powerful thing.
Being present in the moment with the people that you’re with is a powerful thing.
Acknowledging that the presence of God is present, and that’s where we can experience it, is a powerful thing.
A huge part of learning to live a life that is meaningful and joyful and deeply satisfying, is learning to live in the present.
If you’d like to practice, jump on the waiting list for Life Mentoring School! We’d love to have you next time we’re open!