Life is made up of mostly small things and little tasks.
I used to find myself rushing through these to get to the end of the task and onto some illusory better moment. I have spent a lot of time rushing to these ‘better’ moments. Recently I’m learning to be less afraid of being present even to the little things. Here’s some examples
- In the shower I notice the sensation of the warm water on my skin, I notice the sounds and the smells of the shampoo. I breathe and appreciate the experience.
- I take my time and enjoy folding my clothes, instead of seeing it as a chore/means to an end that I need to do quickly to get onto a better moment
- Walking the dog I look all around me at the trees, I notice the bird song the smells of nature. I feel grateful for the soothing effect on my nervous system.
- Interactions, I listen more and feel less of an urgency to make my point. I simply appreciate the time spent with another human being and enjoy their company. I don’t mind if I miss an opportunity to sound clever or a good person.
- I love how clean the dishes are as I empty the dishwasher and appreciate having this marvellous piece of engineering.
- As I get up to make some tea I observe any thoughts and feelings that arise. Sometimes these can be anticipated conversations later in the day which haven’t happened yet. I drop the thoughts and feelings as soon as I notice myself doing this.
- Leaving the house to walk to the car, I pause and slow down and smell my first breath of fresh air of the day and give thanks. I notice the weather conditions around me, the shadows, the sounds.
I have discovered that being present isn’t as terrifying as I once imagined it would be.
Yes my sense of self isn’t so prominent but I don’t die.
Instead as I meet each moment I find I respond in a spontaneous way, unrehearsed, not trying to manipulate to have an effect. I enjoy the constant surprises that come out of my mouth, and I find they are always appropriate when I’m not trying to make anything happen.
And life unfolds more freely and creatively when I give up trying to control it all. What a relief to find this refuge and sense of safety. I’m the present moment problems and difficulties seem to melt away.