Here’s What it Means to Be Present in This Moment

This week was a doozy. Ubering the boys from one appointment to another, only without the exchange of cash or a modicum of appreciation. We played the radio game, where kid B cranked a song and then I, with one hand on the steering wheel and no eyes on the road, attempted to lower the volume so my brain would stop vibrating. Up. Down. Up. Down. And then there was hand slapping, and road swerving. And while that dangerously fun game ensued, we tested the audio power of my car speakers and found them to be pretty solid.

I also got to send emails from my phone, eat lunch from my lap, and feel my blood pressure rise as high as the workload I’d amassed in the interim. Ahh, the joys of being an errand girl/ mother. After a full week of such nonsense, I realized the root of my stress, and that all the anxiety I’d carried was completely unnecessary. Sure, it was a hassle having my own plans interrupted, but what is life if not unpredictable?

Haven’t I learned by now how to find balance when the ground starts to shift? Apparently not. Or perhaps I just needed a reminder…

So Here’s What it Means to Be Present in This Moment 

As I said in another post, I often use a simple phrase to center myself when life sends me spinning: Be here now. Sometimes I have to check in with my thoughts and see if I’ve stepped into the future or turned my attention to the past. Am I connecting to this very moment? I’m not if I’m lingering in last night’s argument or mentally exploring next week’s events. Being present requires letting go, waking up to what’s in front of me, and bringing nothing more than an empty cup.

An empty cup, you say. What the heck for? Imagine this: If I were to ask you to sample a new beverage, would you bring a full cup? Of course not. You can’t taste a new flavor with a cup full of old liquid. Neither can you experience this moment as it truly is when you bring your expectations, anxiety, regrets, or sense of knowing. How many times have you said, “I just know what kind of day it’s going to be.” I’m sure it became that kind of day too, because the stain of bitterness was already in your cup.

What we see depends mainly on what we look for~ John Lubbock

I’m certain I could have found some calm in the chaos this week. I wonder how things would have been if I’d just practiced awareness and spent each moment in the moment. Here’s a little poem I wrote as a personal promise to do better next time. I hope it inspires you on your journey too.

Today I will:

Stand in the garden of this moment

Mug in hand, I will watch the smooth ribbon of cream swirl in my coffee

Feel the fire of my own breath in my belly

Notice, without care, the rhythm of the counting clock

Inhale the aroma of the earth, the smell of my rain-soaked yard, where damp sticks sit beneath trees

Today I will stand in the garden of this moment, unwrapping the gift of the here and now…

8 Comments
  • Bren Pace
    September 26, 2016

    Hey Rica,

    This is a beautiful reminder for us all to live in the “now”. It’s funny as you were talking about your “riding experience”, I envisioned the whole thing. LOL How did you get that taco stain out of your shorts! ha! Just kidding.

    Definitely a great post and a big kick in my pants to live in the now.

    B

    • Rica Lewis
      September 26, 2016

      Lol. You’re too awesome for words, Bren!

  • Lisa
    September 26, 2016

    Yes, a perfect and beautiful reminder. it’s so easy to get caught up in all the rest.

  • Jennifer
    September 27, 2016

    Not easy to stay in the present moment while living in our to-do list or worse….the what was missed list of the past. But it does feel good to be here. Right now.

    • Rica Lewis
      September 27, 2016

      So true, Jennifer!thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Ellen
    October 5, 2016

    Bring an empty cup – I love that – mine is always so full it’s spilling onto the floor. I always “know” how an interaction/situation/day will play out. All this “knowing” is so tiring and limiting.

    Now today, when I leave for what I assume will be a rough day at work — I am going to leave that darn cup at home. It needs a good washing anyway. 😉

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