Practicing being in the here and now, to develop a rich mindfulness practice.
I love this photo. I took it a few years ago in Darjeeling, India. I feel like it demonstrates beautifully, how we can see and pay attention to what is right in front of us, flapping in the breeze, and at the same time, notice there is more happening in the back ground, the bigger picture. There is a time and place for both.
Practicing being more present can make such a difference to all areas of our lives. It can improve concentration, productivity, quality of down time, the taste of our food and the connections we have with others, to mention a few.
Keeping an awareness of the bigger picture is also important. It assists us to plan for our future, to enable us to access education, employment, buy a house and a car, pay our bills, and of course plan holidays. Some of our jobs also require us to have an awareness of the bigger picture.
Living in the present is not suggesting that we ignore the bigger picture, it is encouraging you to be present, with what you are currently doing. Not worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, simply just be. Embrace the current moment, noticing what you see, feel, taste, hear and smell.
In many life situations there is the ‘here and now’ moment and the ‘bigger picture’ to consider. We constantly need to toggle our way through them all, decide which will get our attention in each moment. Often we choose what is in front of us now or jump from one to the other, not really doing either justice. AND more importantly exhausting ourselves, for little to no reward.
Practicing approaching activities mindfully can give us a helping hand. This is not to suggest that we can’t plan for the future or consider the bigger picture. The key is to do what we are doing mindfully. For example if we are doing some future planning, we make a conscious decision to do exactly that, we ensure we are present in that process.
Go ahead and keep reading – check out part 2. There’s more on seated mindfulness practice and being kind to yourself as you develop your skills.