Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Greatest Gift to My Family Is to Be Present

Recently I realized something about the way my mind works.  It's been this way for as long as I remember and maybe I sound like a crazy person.  Putting it into words is difficult because it is so hard to explain, and so it makes me feel kind of insane, but I'll do the best I can to describe it.

I live in a dreamland.  My mind is constantly dreaming.  It is not necessarily what-ifs, but what-won't-bes and fantasies that are completely fictional in nature.  But then there are even times when I am in a moment but I am dreaming about how it would be to be in the moment.  I'm not really embracing the fact that I am in actuality IN that moment.

The other day I was thinking to myself "This is happening to me right now." and repeating it in my mind.  "This is actually happening right now."  I remembered something my sister had told me and focused on my senses.  It brought everything in that real moment to life and I was finally about to embrace it completely!  It felt SO GOOD!

I've been told before about how we live in different mind-sets.  There's the "logical mind", the "emotional mind", and the "wise mind'.  The "logical mind" is when you are thinking about something technical, like when you're doing your budget or something.  The "emotional mind" is when you are completely taken by emotion, like when riding a roller coaster or sky diving.  Your entire mind is focused on emotion.  The "wise mind" is when you are using BOTH.  It was hard for me to think of an example of this at first but when I did, I realized...when you are in the "wise mind" you are present.

My first example is easy for a musician to understand.  I play the piano and I feel a release of tension and a solace whenever I do that.  If I let go to make music it's being in my "wise mind" because I am logically thinking about the technical aspect of making music, but then I am letting my emotions also overtake my mind at the same time.  I am in the moment, completely focused on the present.

My sister gave another example of times when she is doing something routine or normal with her family and she seems to step outside of herself and look at her and her family.  She thinks "Look at where we are right now.  Look at the the stage my children are in right now.  This is where we are."  She savors the moment and feels immense gratitude for it.  Feeling gratitude is a wonderful way to be present.

Another sister told me a little trick on how to be in the "wise mind", which was to focus on the senses in any given moment.  Think about how my skin feels, how the air feels, what I can hear and see, what I can smell in the air and how my mouth tastes.  Touching the surface of something and focusing on the roughness or the smoothness of the object.  It enhances the present when you do this.

It helps to put down your cell phone too. ;)