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Do you ever catch yourself planning out your life, in your head? Do you try to imagine all possible scenarios in advance? Do you envision, with certainty, all possible consequences of your potential actions?

I catch myself listening to the noisy record of my thoughts every day and it’s driving me mad!

In the beginning of this year we all created ‘concepts’, our three guiding words, for 2015. Looking back, I really meant every word, but a recent event at one of our DrivenWoman meetings hit home one concept in particular. One of our members referred back to her three words and so eloquently explained why she wanted them to guide her every choice and movement in life. The word that stuck into my mind was – Present. In my own New Year’s planning I had used a different word – Focus. It was light years from where I wanted to be and so the idea of being fully ‘present’ really hit home.

The end on February is fast approaching, before we know it it will be June and we will be kicking ourselves for not accomplishing what we so diligently started out to do. Were those three words just words, or did we really summoned them to guide our everyday actions? And our thoughts?

So what stops us from fully appreciating and embracing our ambitions and plans, for this year or for life?

Here’s my BIG discovery.

I don’t think I can actually say when there has been a moment when I have been completely and fully present in myself.  I am the type of person who would constantly dress rehearse life before it even happens. I would create scenarios, characters, thoughts. I’d build the whole scene in my mind eyes long before it might happen, and to be fair, would never happen.  I must be potty! What a complete waste of time and energy.

I would work myself up without any proven facts or actions to back my silly thoughts and scenarios. My heart would race, I would be muttering to myself thinking, yeah and if that happens I would do that and if they said this I would react with this. Whole discussions, final results, relationship dramas. They could have made a whole series of soap opera from this material! And if there was a fly on my wall in the shower or in my car I would get the number one ‘nut job’ sign, for sure.

But the way this one member explained her goal, to be fully present, it really brought home just how significant it is to be present, to enjoy the here and now. Bath yourself with now, appreciate the moment and make all your decisions and choices based on the reality that is, rather than the scenarios in your head echoing what might be. And know wisely why you are here, look around and draw yourself back.

And this, my dear ladies, is the fact that most likely stops us from achieving what we set out to do this year. Not being present but wasting time and energy in useless scenario building.

I am going to try with all my might to stop myself with running away with my thoughts. At the end of the year I want to look back and commend myself for being present.  I want to deal with situations now and let the results take care of itself.

To achieve this I’m trying out couple of techniques to help draw back and stay fully in the present.

1. Counting meditation to quiet the mind. Count to ten slowly and breath calmly, especially when in an anxious or stressful situation. The breathing helps to bring your body into the moment. I have found this so effective.

2. Using an item to bring me back to the present moment. Some people carry an item in a pocket or wear a piece of as jewellery, so when anxieties rise or the outside world gets a bit too harried and distracting, touching and focusing on that item brings them back to the present moment. I carry a rubbing stone which I find quite relaxing.

3. Music. I recommend this to everyone and I am sure it’s done without a second thought. Playing your favourite music. The song that makes you smile gives you back that lost energy and creates warmth that fills you up and makes you form more positive thoughts.

I’m experimenting with these tools and it has help to quiet my mind. Staying in the present moment takes practice. Conditioning yourself a few moments each day is all that is needed to establish your mindfulness practice. Before long, you’ll notice that you’re much more aware and appreciative of things around you. And the best of all, it stops those silly future scenarios running wild.

Referring back to my sporting life “if you take care on now the end will take care of itself“.

Do share your experience here. What do you do to stay present?

Let’s be present ladies.

~ Jennifer

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