Living in the present / by Todd Schnick

You often hear people ask us to “be present,” or “be in the now.” But what does this actually mean? Different things to different people.

This is my personal list of how I practice living in the present, and like everything else, it does get easier with practice. I thought I’d share with you. This is a list of what to do and what to think about:

– Pause throughout the day to simply breathe. A big, deep breath is immensely satisfying.

– When you notice yourself rushing, acknowledge it, consciously slow things down, and take your time.

– Move. Very. Deliberately. Do. Not. Rush.

– Read. Very. Deliberately. Do. Not. Rush.

– Execute. Very. Deliberately. Do. Not. Rush.

– In the normal flow of life, there should never be the need to hurry.

– “Excellence is the next five minutes.” (Tom Peters)

– Meals are an experience. Not a stop-n-go quick refuel. Savor the scents and the flavors. Breaking bread with family and friends should be sublime.

– Meditate. To actually dedicate time to this practice is the victory, not how well you do it.

– Practice various stretching exercises. This is why many people do yoga.

– Do not worry or think about the next thing you will be doing. Focus only on what you are doing now, and do it well.

– Stop watching news. Stop scrolling through social media feeds and being jealous of others. Pay attention to what you are doing, not what everyone else is doing.

– Don’t stress about what to do next. Your instincts and gut will inform you when the time comes.

– It’s ok to sit in silence for a while. In fact, it’s a sign of strength.

– It’s normal for the mind to wander. Allow this from time to time. Don’t punish yourself when it happens.

– Really appreciate warm water flowing over your hands.

– Really notice transitions. Like the welcome blast of warmth when coming in from the cold.

– Be sure to use your nose when tasting things.

– When in the present, discipline becomes your friend and ally.

– Time slows when you are present.

– The goal to achieve is in the future. So enjoy the process, enjoy the work, revel in the journey.

– Stop worrying about what you cannot control, rather, focus on what’s right in front of you.

– Pet the dog, every chance you get.

– You actively spend your entire life “right now.” But you’re still spending too much of your “now” time reflecting on the past, or worrying about the future. Stay where you are. It’s the only thing in your life you can control.

Thanks for reading. I hope this gives you some ideas on how to be more fully present in your lives. And check back every now and again, as I will update from time to time…