Each day I realize that I have a choice as to how to spend my time and energy. Do I choose to inhabit each moment, or do I find myself being led around by my thoughts and focused on my fears?
I continue to learn that it is always my choice. Regardless of the events in my life it is still up to me as to how I use the gift of each day that I’m given. I realize from my own life that it is much easier to live in the moment when things are going as I would like them to.
My understanding is beginning to shift, I am finding the real opportunity for learning or growth comes when things are different than what I would have chosen or preferred.
When things get really “interesting” do I stay present, or do I flee to hoping for a better future, or go back and live in; “how wonderful it used to be”? What I am finding is that by staying in the present even when that’s difficult there is much I can learn; mostly about myself.
One of the best tools that can help us stay more present is our breath. When we are stressed or in our fears, our focus is most certainly not on breathing. We often hold our breath when we get upset or angry.
One of the simplest things that you can do when you get angry or upset is just bring your attention or focus back to your breath. Something happens when you consciously bring your awareness to each and every breath. This has an amazing way of shifting our energy and bringing it into the present…even if that moment is very challenging. You may still feel your fear or whatever it is that took you out of the present, but somehow it loses the powerful hold it had on you just a few moments before.
Try it the next time you find yourself challenged with something going not how you had invisioned. You could start with something small, like your morning drink not being made the way you want, or maybe a disagreement with a friend or partner. Whatever it is, close your eyes and shift your attention to your inhale and exhale. Allow them both to lengthen. Keep your focus there for as little as 20 or 30 seconds and see how that changes your energy. As you work with your breath you can lenghten the amount of time you focus on it.
Photo Credit & Copyright Alec Davis