This Moment

View outside of Seacoast Power Yoga in Exeter, NH. I arrived on my yoga mat after a few days off and immediately felt antsy. All I could think about was wanting to get “this” over with so I could move onto the next thing.

Thankfully I was in the right place. Yoga was exactly what I needed at that moment. Breathing, moving and sweating gave me access to a more grounded and centered place.

How often do we rush from one thing to the other? Even thinking that the planning for the next moment is more important than the moment we are in? I remember when my kids were toddlers. We would start the day together and I would give them the itinerary. Breakfast, swim lessons, rest, lunch, park, rest, play date, dinner when Daddy get’s home, bed. I would sit with Ryan in Brueggers Bagels and tell him; “okay buddy, we are going to finish lunch, go home for a nap and then walk to the park”. Even though he was probably doing a better job enjoying playing with his blocks and eating his bagel than I was, I was clearly sending him a message around time. Looking back, the message was: have your days planned out and always get ready for what comes next.

I know I'm not alone in this habit. This is our natural response to managing our busy and often over scheduled lives. And I understand that if we didn’t have a general plan to our day, we may be at risk of not accomplishing what’s important. But the downside is, and it’s a big one, we miss out on what’s really happening. We miss the present moment. Funny enough, our focus on the plans for our life often gets in the way of living it. Life is filled with sunshine, smiles, sweetness, disappointments, downturns, accomplishments, celebrations, loneliness, tears and so many thousands of other things to experience. Let's make sure we don't miss a beat.

For me, reminding myself to be in the present moment isn’t enough. Here are some tips to help ground yourself in the here and now:

- First catch yourself. Be aware when you are anywhere but where you are.

- Notice the impact. What do you miss when you are somewhere else? A loved one’s laugh? The smell of fresh air? The sound of the birds?

- Take a breath- a really deep one. Your breath is always in the present moment.

- Move and sweat. Burn off some of that extra energy and center yourself in your body.

- Be firm and gentle all at the same time. Stay committed to living your life in the present moment. When you do catch yourself somewhere else, be gentle when you bring yourself back.

Experiencing your life is not about wishing pieces of it away to get onto the next thing. It’s about trusting. Have faith that what this moment holds for you is just right. Instead of looking past this moment to the next, let’s live the life that’s right in front of us.