I started practicing yoga actively about 6 months ago. The instructors vary from class to class but the message has often been to be present. I always thought this applied to the class and never really thought much about applying it to my life.
This past week i’ve had a bit of an epiphany. I’ve realized that since I left my civil service job, I have been successful in growing my freelance business and I’ve prided myself on being available to my clients. Available, is apparently different from being present.
I have not been present. Especially to my friends and family. My mind is always on the next task, jumping from one thought to the next. I was there physically but mentally somewhere else. With that realization, I dug a little deeper into my lack of presence and how it could be affecting me and those around me. This goes pretty deep so I’ll have to elaborate more in followup posts on the topic but in short:
- Not being present impacts the quality of everything I do.
- Not being present impacts my creativity.
- Not being present makes me susceptible to distractions and causes me to waste valuable time.
- Not being present affects how I interact with people, particularly those whose relationships I value.
Those are just 4 of the ways not being present has impacted me.
And here’s an example: I went on vacation to Florida this past summer to visit my aunt who is one of my favorite people, I love her so much. I got out my laptop and right away I could tell she was annoyed by it, she knows me to well and she knew I was about to become distracted… I couldn’t even help myself. I just needed to check stuff… email, Facebook, my websites (all things that would still be there when I returned from vacation) … but truthfully, once I opened that laptop, checked my email and started thinking about the things I needed to create, that’s where my mind went, it was all over. My mind should have been there with her, instead I was distracted. The quality of the time we had together was tainted because I was somewhere else mentally.
I don’t want to be distracted anymore, especially when it comes to the people I love.
I want to be present in everything I do.
I’ve started a list of how I can do things differently. I want to put these things into practice before I share them here on this blog so more to follow as I grow in learning how to be present.
I know that by actively being more present in everything I do, I’ll be a better friend/ parent/ wife/ artist… athlete…the list goes on to whatever I want to be.
Presence: The state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present in a place or thing.
What are your thoughts? Can you think of areas where your presence is lacking?