HOW TO GIVE THE GIFT OF BEING PRESENT
by Andrea Bogart
Have you ever wondered how to be more present? We hear it all the time, we potentially think we are and yet so easily our minds wander, our attention bounces to the past or future and suddenly we're missing out on what's happening right in front of us; here and now.
Spring is in full swing and I'm thinking about how to give myself the gift of being more present in all that I do... are you ready to join me? I know we will benefit from this awareness and I can assure you the people and situations you interact with will appreciate it too. With a million ways to be distracted today... being present is a GIFT to rapture in.
There are so many examples throughout the day where I am deeply connected to the present moment and others where auto pilot is taking me through the motions and I'm not present at all. Does this sound like you too? Of course this is natural but my gosh, doesn't it feel good to catch yourself and breathe into that realization and just be in the moment? It's a practice. Like with most things, if we take the time to practice this, we get good and this particularly should feel simple rather than like a task. We will always have distractions, interruptions and a multitude of things that can cause worry but if we truly work on being present we can alleviate the external emotions often attached to these deterrents.
Check-in with your moment to moment awareness in some of these areas:
“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness
embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers”
— Thich Nhat Hanh
MY KEY HELPERS
My favorite part about all this is that it is actually pretty basic when you think about being present. It doesn't mean it doesn't come without it's challenges... but I believe it's the world in which we live with an unbelievable amount of stimulation that has altered are senses of how important it is to just BE. I heard on a Tim Ferriss' podcast recently, "remember we are human BEINGS not human DOINGS," I love that. Find gratitude in everything that you do, appreciate the smallest of tasks, seek joy moment to moment and feel how amazing anything can be. Remember it's a practice. Each step is a step with grace and wonderment.
by Lisa Haisha
When George Michael sang “I gotta have faith” in 1989, he likely had no idea how important that would be almost 30 years later. We are now living in what many consider to be one of the most divisive, angry and nerve-wracking times in recent American history. Every day it is more political dissent, acts of terror and a general uncertainty about our collective future as a country and as individuals. We are worried for the safety of our families and we struggle to live the American Dream.
With the world seemingly gone mad, how can we keep our faith? Not just religious faith, but faith in ourselves, our future and in humanity. Here are some tips for keeping your faith and maintaining a sense of control in your life and destiny:
1. Define your values. Write down what is important to you, what you believe is important and the standards by which you want to live your life. By establishing your personal standard, you will give yourself a guidebook to follow. While you cannot control what goes on in the world, you can control how you behave, react and the standards by which YOU deal with others. This will also enable you to feel that you are living life the way you feel it should be lived regardless of what is happening around you.
2. If you are religious – no matter the degree – embrace the practices and traditions. For thousands of years, people have found comfort and guidance by being around those with similar religious beliefs and customs. Knowing that other before you lived fulfilling and successful lives by embracing these ideals will help carry you forward.
3. Find your spirituality. Spirituality does not necessarily have anything to do with religion. Spirituality is a belief in a greater power and about embracing the universe. Understanding that there is this force larger than all of us can offer a sense of security and calm.
4. Meditate. Meditation is perhaps one of the greatest forms of self-reflection and sources of strength. Even if only a few minutes a day, take the time to shut down the outside world and just be one with yourself. You will be surprised at how much benefit you get from this and the balance it will provide.
5. Make exercise a part of your regular routine. Getting some sort of physical exercise, be it going to the gym or taking long walks, will go a long way in helping keep not only your body, but also your mind, in check.
6. Do nice things for other people. Helping others is inherently one of the best ways to help yourself. If you have the time, volunteer at a local organization that provides support to those less fortunate. As you progress throughout each time, find both small and big ways to help others. It could be as simple as complementing someone on how they look or holding the door open for an elderly person. Each day brings us so many opportunities to be a good person; seize those opportunities and you will find great personal gain from doing so.
However you decide to keep the faith is up to you. It’s important for each of us to believe in something and to see all the good the world has to offer. We are each the captains of our respective ships and can decide how we navigate this world and where we will go. So stand tall, steer your ship and most of all, keep the faith.
*Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of “The New Hollywood
Lisa Haisha, M.A., teaches women, men, and couples how to “show up” in their own lives personally, professionally, and passionately with her fearless expression in all media as a globally sought-after life counselor. For more info on her teaching and Soul Blazing workshops visit Lisa Haisha.