The Practices of the Heart Part III – The Practice of Being Present

When I enter a room, when I commit to a project, I am present. I show up fully. I let things matter. I realize that I make a difference in this world. I am present with my undivided attention. I don’t let my attention wander to where I am not currently-the past or the future. Do you have a hard time being present? Do you notice your mind wandering to regrets of the past or dreams for the future? The practice of being present is about being mindful-focusing your attention on the here and now? For the truth is that there is only the present.

The past and future are thoughts we are having in the present moment! When you are not focused on the task at hand, whether you are engaged in a personal activity, or on the phone with a client-you are not giving 100% to the endeavor. So how do you practice being present when your mind wanders all over the place? Start simply by tuning in to your five senses, a quick way to bring you into the moment. Then ask yourself what you are feeling. Close your eyes and identify what’s going on with you in the present moment.

When you are tuned into your environment through your senses, you know you are present. When you are focused on your feelings, you are in the present. Another practice of being present is to take time out of your “doing” and spend time “being.” We are often so caught up with what we could be doing now, and in the next moment, and the next. Give yourself the gift of quality time to focus and be aware in the present. It’s a great time for renewing your energy. Take slow, deep breaths. Allow your mind to quiet down and be at peace. You can’t be anywhere but in the present when you are breathing slowly and ‘being” in the moment. Use this practice when you’re on overload. You don’t want to show up for a meeting physically while your mind is thinking about last night or where you need to be in an hour. You want to give your full attention to those around you.

Be present for your business associates, your clients, and your prospects. You know what it’s like when you want the attention of someone who is clearly not tuned in with you. How does that make you feel? Disrespected, unimportant? You don’t want to do this to others. Let them know you value and respect them enough to give them the full and present you. Take the peace from your practice of “being” into your “doing.” Live in the present for the sake of yourself, your sanity, and those around you.