"Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry—all forms of fear—are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence."
- Eckhart Tolle
I've been doing some form of counselling or coaching for more than 10 years now. Each session, there's a break through. Whether it's something small or something much larger that then needs to be digested over many more sessions.
However a session ends, I always feel more connected to myself and feel more prepared to handle my day-to-day life.
About four months ago, I actually began with somebody new. I was ready for new perspectives and new techniques and I thought somebody new could really liven things up for me.
In the last four months, we have spoken quite a lot and I've shared a lot of my past struggles and traumas and I've been able to find new ways to view certain situations. It's honestly been so refreshing. But as always, there's more work to do.
Something that has been coming up quite a lot is being present.
Almost every single session, I am being reminded to live in the present moment because if we are living in the present, nothing else matters. I've thought about it a lot and it makes a lot of logical sense to me. I can see how it would be incredibly important to live in the present moment, rather than stressing over the past and future.
But still, after four months of being reminded of this, I'm still seeing myself not living in the present. I'm sitting with my kids on the floor and I'm thinking about the laundry needing to be done. I'm sitting doing the laundry and I'm thinking about the dishes needing to be done. I'm doing the dishes and I'm thinking about how I should get my kids out of the house today. I take my kids on a walk and I'm thinking about the piles of work there is to do.
Being present is proving to be one of the most difficult (but equally exciting) skills to conquer. I wanted to share this information with you because I'm not perfect. In fact, I'm far from perfect. I get so caught up in my head that I'm very rarely present but it's a work in progress. Here are a few ways I'm practising being more present:
~ Just being
This is something really, really hard for me because I have always been somebody who is go, go, go. But just being. Simply sitting and looking out a window at the trees blowing in the window or watching my kids play.
~ Practising yoga
Practising yoga is such a beautiful way to bring you into the present moment. Whenever we move our attention to be on our breath, we have no choice but to be present.
~ Walking in nature
Being in nature has been a game-changer for me with this. Simply walking around my neighbourhood with no music or podcasts and taking notice of my surroundings. You will never know how beautiful nature is unless you take the time to notice.
It's really important for me to write about things honestly. To remind you that nobody is perfect, we all have traumas to deal with, we all have skills we need to conquer and none of us are truly ever alone. I also wanted to remind you that while you may look at my life and think things are always perfect and peachy, they're not. My life can be a sh*t show some days too.
Certified Counsellor & Mental Health Coach