Being mindful is a matter of being present. Being present is good for my physical, emotional and mental health. It renews my energy as it retrieves my power from the past and the future. Being present brings my energy back into my body. Being present is unbelievably simple and easy. This is why it can be so hard for so many. Most people are used to everything in life being difficult, or hard work, or out of reach, or costing a fortune. The present moment is not an elusive place. It is also free to visit. I can remain there as long as I wish. Being present is a matter of training my attention to stay where I want it to stay.
Yearning or craving to live in the present moment creates a catch 22 for me. It keeps me stuck in the past or clutching for the future. When I am yearning for something, I am not present. When I crave something, I am not present. When I complain about not being present, then I am not being present.
Yearning and craving for the present puts the present moment over there, in front of me, or behind me, instead of here now. Chastising myself for not living in the present keeps my energy stuck in the past, as I continue to complain about my inability to be present. Seeking, striving and pursuing the present moment takes me out of the present and into seeking, striving and pursuing it. The present moment cannot be found anywhere but here now.
I know I am not present when I am dwelling on past hurts AND I am not taking action to rectify it. I know I am not present when I am worried about the future AND I am not taking action to rectify it. I know I am not present when I am trying to control the uncontrollable, instead of managing my response to the situation with integrity. I know I am not present when I am trying to influence anyone or anything beyond my sphere of appropriate influence. I know I am not present when I am trying to manipulate people or circumstances for my own advantage.
When I am not present, I tend to feel ill at ease, or I get a headache, or a stomach ache, or I become clumsy. I have sprained my ankles many times while exercising because I have not been present. A lack of presence can keep me awake at night. Eventually, if a lack of presence continues for too long, it tends to create stress and increase emotional and mental pressure on me. This type of ongoing tension affects my immune system. It weakens my constitution. Long term lack of presence tends to make me sick.
When I realise I am not being present, mindfulness is one way to improve the situation. Mindfulness brings my attention, and therefore my energy and power, into the present moment. Mindfulness works best for me when I combine it with a strategy I call energy work. I take command of my attention and bring it back to where I am now, to what I am doing now, to how I am feeling now, to what I am sensing now, to what I am thinking now. This is being present. This is being mindful. Then I take this act of mindfulness one step further.
I do this by withdrawing my attention from all the people, places, events and objects in the past and present that do not serve me. I also withdraw my attention out of my worries about the future. This helps to bring my energy into the present moment. I have to continue withdrawing my attention and then investing it in the present; I have to keep training my attention to be present, until it stays where it belongs. In this way, I have more energy to deal more effectively with problems as they arise.
Aside from being mindful, being careful, being thoughtful, and being useful are other ways I can be present now.