From the window of my home office, this morning I can see bright blue skies, trees changing color on the mountain, and wispy white clouds high above. A breeze is gently blowing, and I can hear a bird singing nearby. The sun is shining brightly and glinting off the wind-blown remnants of a spiderweb in the peach tree outside the window. It’s a stunning fall day. Being present– that’s why I’m noticing all these things.
Why am I telling you this?
What does ‘being present’ mean?
Sometimes we all need reminders to stop, slow down, and pay attention to what’s going on (literally!) right outside our window. Whenever I give presentations or in-services, and even with my clients– I talk about the benefits of taking a few minutes throughout the day to practice being present. Take a short break, breathe, and notice what’s happening in and around you. Be mindful of the moment. Accept whatever you find there. Relax and be here now.
Right here. Right now.
That was the mantra one of my GIM teachers had for our group. And it’s so true. How often we get caught up in thinking about the past or the future or what to make for dinner or all the things still left on the to-do list. Or does my hair look ok or is my date going to like me enough to ask me out again or will my boss finally give me that promotion he’s been promising for 6 months…. and on and on. Our minds like to get their exercise by running away with our imaginations. We resist simply being present.
You have the power to stop that. Right here. Right now.
Just like I did a few minutes ago– look out the window. What do you see? If you’re not near the outdoors, close your eyes and pay attention to how you feel. What’s the temperature? What sounds do you hear? How does your body feel? What’s your breathing pattern? Are there any aromas in the air? Use your senses and explore what’s around you. Pay attention to what you find. Suspend judgement and simply observe. Relax. For just a short moment (your mind can resume racing in a few minutes), just being present.
If you’re curious about mindfulness or how music therapy might help, feel free to contact me. I’m always happy to answer questions!