brighton beachCan you remember the last time you were really present

When was the last time you stopped, took a deep breath and just focused on what you were doing, not thinking about your endless to do list, appointments, checking your phone, how many likes you got on the facebook picture you posted???!

Can you remember the last time you really enjoyed just being in the present moment.

Just being ♥

Our world today is fast, technology is running through our veins, wifi is our life blood  and in the rush to constantly upgrade, tune in, keep on top and accomplish everything,  we are losing our connection with the present moment. It is so easy to stop noticing the world around us and lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and we end up living in our heads.

 Constantly striving never thriving.   

As humans we  have a tendancy to spend way too much of our time dwelling in the past and future tripping, thinking about what was and what could have been….it’s not the best head space to be in and it can make you anxious. When we live in the past or future we miss out on the freedom and peace in the now. 

When I was  wacked with my diagnoses along with doctors opinions, scary statistics and the unknown, my subconscious mind could have become quite a dark place to hang out in. Trying to process this information was hard, so I started  practising mindfulness and mediation, and  just being present…… I’m soooo glad I did!brighton beach

Practising mindfulness and meditation really helped me focus my attention on the present  moment, accepting it without judgment, and by focusing on the here and now I was less likely to get caught up in my worries, my constant sub-conscious chatter, my monkey mind! Over the years I have managed to deepen this practise, it took time, but I got there…I learnt to become an observer of my mind.

A thought can generate great momentum and if not managed properly it can take us to places we really don’t need to go…I learnt that very quickly! Present moment awareness always brings calm and peace.

We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing friends and living our lives. ~ Maya Angelou

Mindfulness and meditation are now being examined scientifically and has been found to be a key element in happiness.

Scientists have discovered that  meditation techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways like relieving stress, treating heart disease, lowering blood pressure, reducing chronic pain, help improve sleep and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.  And in recent years I have read lots of studies on Psychotherapists using meditation to help with depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. The more present the patient became the less likely they were to get caught up in their problems.

A very unexpected way I learnt to be in the present moment was hanging out with a crazy little Beagle called Jess.

When we go off on our little adventures its all about the now with Jess, her sharp intensity, her eagerness, her energy lightsjess me up♥

Just watching an animal closely can take you out of your mind and into the present moment, which is where an animal lives all the time, surrendered to life. ~Eckhart Tolle

When we first started roaming together we would go for walks in places I have been going to for years but for some reason as clichéd as it may sound I just saw everything in a different light. I cherish every moment I spend with Jess I’m obsessed with her! I truly believe what Eckhart Tolle also says about animals, that they are “the guardians of being” and we have many important lessons to learn from them, because I did!  I had some pretty rough days during my healing process but spending time with Jess my mind soon became unburdened, I know she sensed my off days and she always stayed close, always watching. jess 

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive you will see it. ~Thich Nhat Hanh.

So when we are looking to become present the physical body is the best place to start.

Our bodies cannot and do not seek to be anywhere but here, unlike the mind which always wants to be elsewhere. We can make use of the bodies always present nature and use it as a vehicle to bring us back to the here and now.

If you don’t go within you will go without! Only temporary happiness comes from our external experiences. True lasting bliss really does come from connecting to the light within you. As humans our true nature is to be happy and that happiness comes from within. 

So just set aside a bit of time for your self each day to start a little practise, even five minuets is perfect. Find somewhere quiet and comfortable, close your eyes and just focus on your breath. Thoughts will constantly be coming but just acknowledge them, don’t attach, let them go, and bring yourself back to your breath. You may find it hard in the beginning  but be patient, remember we not Buddhist monks who devote their whole life to this practise we live in a world with distractions, kids, iphones so it may take a while but if you stay dedicated you definitely feel the benefits over time. 

I’m so dedicated and devoted to my morning spiritual practise wether its five minutes or twenty I make sure I carve out that time for myself it sets me up for the day, it grounds me. And throughout the day when I feel my mind getting a bit scattered I always come back to my breath and just focus on what I’m doing in that present moment……..nothing else♥

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life. ~ Eckhart Tolle

 

 I’m going to leave you with this beautiful three minute video clip which includes some of my absolute favourites, Danielle La Porte and Gabby Bernstein. I hope it warms up your soul a bit on this chilly Tuesday and I hope it resonates with you as much as it did me.

Have a peaceful, present week!

Alexandra♥