Saturday, May 27, 2017

Being Present


I am at the lake for the weekend, and this morning I took Teddy for a super long doggy walk. I was trying to stay in my senses during the walk--and what I mean by that is smelling the delicious odors (especially the lilacs above), looking intentionally at the beautiful nature around me, and listening to the sounds of birds, the wind, and even cars.
Of course, it's not so easy to be in your senses when you are used to living in your head! I had to keep pulling myself out of my head and back down to Earth, but it's okay. I do it all the time.
When I got home I was pretty tired, and opened up my computer to a  message I get each morning from The Daily OM. I highly recommend it! 

The bottom line for me is that I want to become increasingly conscious. And while I have done things to sabotage that desire, I continually aspire to improve and move towards where I want to be. Here's what the blog written by GINA LAKE reminded me of, that resonated with my experience walking Ted:

Happiness is the natural outcome of being aligned with Essence, our true self, which is experienced when we are fully present in the moment. 

The key to happiness is being very awake and aware of what is really happening in every moment rather than being absorbed in thoughts about the past, the future, your life, other people, and the many other thoughts we tend to get lost in, which don't add to our life or enhance our experience of life but, rather, detract from the potential joy, peace, and contentment inherent in each moment. Happiness is in our control, since where we focus our attention is in our control. When we focus it on what the mind is telling us, we suffer; when we focus it on what is real and true in this moment, we experience happiness, joy, peace, and contentment. 

The present moment is all that exists, since the past and future are simply thoughts about the past and the future. But because we are programmed to pay attention to our thoughts, we often fail to notice what is actually going on now. Most people live in a mental world. When we drop out of this mental world into the Now, we experience a depth, a richness, and a joy and peace that feel sacred. This is the experience of our true self, or Essence. So, when we talk about being in the Now, we are also talking about this experience of Essence. 

Whatever you are doing, enjoy it! You have another option, of course, which is to not enjoy it. Notice what keeps you from enjoying whatever you are doing. It's your thoughts, isn't it? Even if you are experiencing pain, for instance, or something unpleasant, like going to the dentist, if you don't listen to any negative thoughts, fears, complaints, and desires related to that, you won't suffer. You will just have the experience. 

You can go through life this way if you want, but when you are not fully in contact with what you are doing, you miss out on the potential joy and pleasure in an experience. Any experience can be interesting, since you have never had it before. And any experience can be enjoyed, because when you immerse yourself in it, you lose the false self (the sense of I or me) and discover the true self, which is always enjoying life. Essence is always in-joy. And from Essence's standpoint, every moment is an opportunity to serve life and love, which is another source of joy. What if you approached each moment as an opportunity to experience, serve, or love? 

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