“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.” ~Thich Nhat Hahn
Recently something truly amazing happened. I was sitting at the beach feeling the warm winds, taking in the gleaming blue Pacific. It was the time of day when the sunlight turns the ocean into waves of sparkling radiance.
The beauty touched me deeply. In that appreciation of the moment, something shifted inside me. I became so present that my identity of self dissolved into the background.
I was not only in the universe, but the universe was now in me.
As I write this I feel the energy of heightened awareness flowing through me, and have the privilege of enjoying that goose bumpy moment again. This is the universe affirming a moment of true significance.
Two insights stand out for me as I explore the significance of this early evening experience:
First, as I entered into full appreciation for the beauty of the moment, I became completely in the now. In the present, love, joy, higher consciousness, and peace naturally arise.
Second, in the now, I entered into unity consciousness where my self-identity shifted to a place of oneness with all of life.
These two insights led to a list of expanded possibilities that I would like to share with you. But first, here is a practice you can explore that will assist you in becoming fully present:
This simple but powerful practice is mindful breathing.
Find a peaceful place. Quiet work’s the best. Begin by feeling your chest expand as you breathe in, then notice your chest relax as your breathe out.
As you tune in and feel your body in response to the breath, you become fully present. Each mindful cycle of the breath brings you more fully into the moment.
When your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your body’s response to the breath. Breathing in this way brings peace to your mind, aliveness to your body, and joy in the moment.
After a while, you can do this practice even in noisy places. My favorite time for breathing mindfully is on a walk.
Now, 50 gifts from living in the present, as promised:
1. Your fears shrink to a whisper.
2. You find joy waiting for you.
3. Your heart feels free to love.
4. You feel connected to all beings.
5. You are one with the wisdom of the collective consciousness.
6. You feel at peace with yourself.
7. You feel free to be who you are.