I am here, in this moment. Am I, actually present in the moment ?
We may ask ourselves, with curiosity, is my attention more on the next moment, or the next hour, or the following day or beyond. This pushing forward to be in the future, to accomplish, to get beyond now is striving past now. Striving is an attempt to go further, be more, do more, get somewhere. Is this motivation ? Certainly striving can begin with motivation. Where we may get lost is when we spend more time striving than being, and then, over time our capacity to be present in the moment can be missed. Have you had the experience of being with a loved one, and upon parting, realized you were not present with them because you were preoccupied with worry or hurrying to get something done ? This is human, and there are times we put a task or a concern before being present for ourself or others.
There are ways to come back to being present in the moment. The ancient tradition of meditation is a practice to come back to the moment. By quieting the mind and becoming still to focus on the breath, is a practice to come home to the moment.
If we are sitting much of the day, getting up to walk or stretch can be a way to bring our body and mind back to the moment. Grounding statements I find useful are : I am On this earth, in this body, in this time.
We all do so much, in order to survive, and hopefully thrive, with our responsibilities and tasks. We carry wishes and goals, and efforts towards achievements. There is the common human question about being or doing enough. A certain degree of stress and striving can be healthy. Being open to continue learning, growing, unfolding our potential and sharing with others is healthy.
Motivation is in part, a drive to accomplish. All fine and good to be responsible. As long as we are not loosing our health and balance in the effort to climb higher and higher , and not stopping to enjoy the view, as we are climbing the mountain. If we become tangled or stuck in the belief of “its never enough”, or trying to prove something, we may loose touch with our access to the state of being in the moment, present for ourself or others.
Close to half or at least a third of our lives are spent sleeping, and a portion of that is dreaming. We also need rest and quiet. The practice of meditation is an ancient practice of becoming still, and immersing into being in the moment, in our body, with our breath. In that space there is no doing, just being.
What is being ? The state of being is timeless, present in the moment. Not leaping or pushing to the next moment or task, or sliding into the past. Becoming still , or in a flow of movement we can be in the state of being. Looking into a loved ones eyes and there is peace. Immersion in the flow of an expressive or creative process; playing an instrument, singing, painting, dancing, cooking, writing, can be a bridge to the portal of a state of flow, in the now. Moving in a flow is another way, running, cycling, swimming, martial arts, dancing, yoga.
It is not the movement that brings us back home to our center as much as it is diving into the immersion of the flow of the movement or the creative expression. We can work at home, or in a work site, or online and work with a state of being present in the moment and when we do ,our productivity will improve.
Being present in the moment sounds simple enough. It involves embodying our breath and awareness in present time. A mindfulness bell is a reminder to come back to now. Our ability to access inner peace is accessible when we stay in the moment.
To access a state of being, many have a practice of meditation or yoga, prayer or affirmation. To invite and practice the state of being.
Yoda : “There is no try. ” Pushing ourselves to try, we are on the edge, spinning , overworking, exhaustion, racing from one thing to the next, grasping…all ways we can loose our balance. Tripping over ourselves, striving to be in a state that is dependent on a certain habit or outcome.
We each have our own path, in terms of how we Strive to accomplish and ways that work for us to access Being. It is a unique and dynamic balance to develop our own rhythm, our own dance of Being and Striving. Somewhere between elements of accessing a workable routine and room for windows of spontaneity; we can develop our own flow between Being and Striving. Dynamic Balance is ultimately the Spiral Dance of being and striving.
You may recall an experience where there was a sense of flow between being and striving, a sort of seamless immersion in the moment. It is possible to have a practice, where we are fully immersed, for example, in meditation, and a part of us is striving in practice and intention to become more seamless in our meditation practice. The two states of being and striving can merge to together.
This is not about achieving perfection. The idea of perfection gets in our way. As we find our mind wander, we just come back to our breath. In meditation, in movement, in conversation, in work, in art, music, whatever we are doing. Noticing we are not present in the moment, we can practice coming back to our breath and notice the texture of the dish and the soap water. The simplest task becomes a present moment.