My mornings now typically start off with a 5:30am tabata workout by myself at a nearby park, a refreshing shower, a cup of coffee, a twenty minute deep meditation followed immediately by a smile before I log onto my computer to start my workday. My workday ends around 4pm when I start thinking about dinner. By 9 or 10pm, I’m typically winding down with a good book (in case you’re interested, I’m enjoying a good read by Dr Rick Hanson called Neurodharma), watching a Youtube video or catching up on some correspondences with some friends.
Despite what’s going on in the world, I’d say I have it pretty darn good.
One of the most powerful gifts I received during these last three months is the time and space to draw attention to the present. It wasn’t always like this for me, however. When the isolation started, I must admit I felt a little discombobulated. Like with almost everyone else, my social life, my exercise routines, my entertainment all came to a grinding halt. It was a hard time for me to adjust, but after some great conversations with my counsellor Guillermo, my son, my good friends Rene and Randy, I started to regain my sense of self again. Talking to them and hearing how they were coping, reminded me about focussing on what’s going on right now. They helped me to recenter myself, and in a way of somewhat reinventing a part of who I am. We’re all created differently, and sometimes some of us need a helping hand to get us through a rut, big or small, and there’s no shame in ever asking for a little encouragement.
What are some benefits from being present?
- Gratitude – I’m able to truly soak in what I have in my life: my son, my home, the food I eat, my cat, just to name a few. My son and I used to talk about basketball a lot, but these last few months we’ve been engaging ourselves in deeper discussions about mental health, meditation practices and the law of attraction. He and I have both grown into a deeper space of positivity, and I feel we’ve connected even more during this period than ever before.
- Mental focus – When life was normal it’s so easy to have to think about what the next day or the next week is going to look like. While I still have those thoughts, I’m no longer consumed by them. I realize that things will happen when they happen, and I focus much less on controlling the outcome. By letting go of the attachment to the outcome, I find myself in a calmer state of mind. The truth is, I’m learning that time is inconsequential. We’ve created this world of deadlines and scheduled appointments, ruling out notions of being flexible and just going with the flow. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still as guilty as anyone when it comes to this – all I’m saying is that I’ve been learning to loosen the old noose when it comes to the concept of time. As I mentioned in my second book, If you really want something, you’ll make time for it.
- Happiness – There’s a ton of memes and books about how being present can lead to happiness, almost to the point of overkill, but the truth is, it works. When you really think about it, the past no longer exists. It’s an event that took place, but is no longer real. It’s only as real as the power we give it. On the flip side, the future also does not exist. The future never happens because we are constantly behind it, as if we’re chasing it. If both the past and future do not exist, then the only time that matters is now. Trying to grasp this hasn’t been easy for me, but it’s starting to make more sense to me these days. Thus, knowing that the only moment that matters is now, I naturally feel lighter and…well, happier!
It sure feels refreshing to be able to spend time outside again, seeing people enjoy themselves at parks with their loved ones. It’s also nice to see restaurants slowly reopening and hearing the much needed laughter from everyone.
And I look forward to many exciting events this week including dinner with Randy, a Zoom chat with Stella and Cat, and seeing D to round off the week. But until all that happens, there’s no better place to be than right now.
Have a great day everyone!