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How to know if you are present

In the Monday Night Meditation Group we've been exploring how we might be living in the past or future.

What do I mean by that?

Living in the past is about:

⬅️ wishing it was still the past

⬅️ not accepting your current reality

⬅️ thinking what happened in the past will happen again

⬅️ not letting go/moving on

⬅️ ruminating

⬅️ missing out on the wonders of life because you're caught in a story

⬅️ re-living an event over and over again

⬅️ mistaking your label (e.g. family status, career, country of origin, financial circumstance) for your identity

⬅️ not trusting people.

Living in the future looks like:

➡️ worrying

➡️ anxiety

➡️ planning something now that can only be dealt with when it happens

➡️ overpreparing

➡️ controlling

➡️ excessively stockpiling resources

➡️ playing a future activity over and over in your head

➡️ not noticing what's happening around you

➡️ restlessness.

Plus a few others, I'm sure.

Living in the past and present is so common most people don't notice it's happening to them or those around them.

There is, however, one easy way to know if you are living in the present.

If you are feeling joy, love, peace, calm, clarity, connection, oneness, non-duality, strength, truth, trust, harmony and resilience - then you are present.

That's because these are our natural states of being, that can only be accessed when we are fully present and undistracted by our thinking.

All thinking is past or present-based. There is no such thing as a present moment thought. Even if the thought is about something that has just happened or will happen, it is still routed in time.

The good news is, practising being present significantly improves our chances of experiencing peace, joy and love and the like on a daily if not hourly basis.

If you are busy being present, then there is no time or space for ruminating, anxiety or depression. Being present becomes an all encompassing activity that gets your undivided attention.

There are thousands of ways to do this. Noticing your body, taking deep steady breaths, activating your senses, being in wide open awareness, letting go of thoughts, connecting to your inner sense of self, becoming one with nature, moving beyond ego, loosing yourself in music or being in the zone in sport.

Meditation taps into all of these, allowing us to develop a kind of present moment fitness, that serves us when times get hard.

We discover that it's possible to experience loneliness and still feel connection, conflict yet have peace in our hearts, chaos but have absolute clarity, emotions but from a place of truth, uncertainty yet be experiencing trust.

It is not either/or. Truth, love, joy, connection and oneness is who we are - the rest are simply our temporary experiences.

Want to know more? Feel free to ask me about meditation opportunities and possible courses. I'd be delighted to share my knowledge and experience with you.

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