with ReikiAwakening.com’s Alice Langholt
Welcome to this month’s Reaching Reiki column. The theme for this month’s column is Being Present. This is a very important topic and it can change your life. I’ll also explain how Reiki can help, although it is not necessary to have Reiki in order to consciously incorporate mindful presence into your life.
First, what does it mean to be present? Being present is about living in this moment, now. Many of us, me included, worry a lot. We worry about what’s coming up, what’s due, what’s on the long list of things to do, what’s happened recently, and more. Even though we’re taking care of things right now, our minds are preoccupied with these other issues, ruminating on that argument or that deadline instead of focusing on what’s happening right now. What’s wrong with this picture?
Being preoccupied keeps us from enjoying what’s going on right now. It saps the joy from our lives because joy happens when we truly enjoy what we are doing in this moment. Sounds simple, but for so many of us, it is not simple. You might be thinking, what about all of these things? How do I stop thinking about them? You might also be thinking, what if I am doing something now that is just not fun, like cleaning or changing a flat tire, or grocery shopping? How am I supposed to find joy in that chore?
Eckhart Tolle teaches that there are three states of being present: Acceptance, Enjoyment, and Enthusiasm. All of them involve being present, which is important enough that it will improve your life. So let’s look at them in relation to our real life situations.
Say you’re doing that chore you hate. The one that makes you wish you could be anywhere else. Instead of grumping over it, try simply accepting that you need to do it. Focus on getting it done, and you may find that your acceptance of it makes it less reprehensible. A sense of peace can come over you as you complete the task.
Now imagine that you’re doing something that is just part of your day. You are at work, or you are caring for your child. Instead of thinking about something else, such as the argument you had this morning, or what you will make for dinner, focus on exactly what you are doing. Be in the moment. The simple focus of being present can bring enjoyment to what you are doing, as you are consciously present. You will breathe easier, and give your full attention to the task at hand.
Next, think of doing something you truly love. Do this, and be fully in the moment. You will find that your enjoyment will increase to enthusiasm as you truly feel how much you love doing what you are doing. You are in your element, and being truly present is the way to live richly and fully in the moment.
Now what if you are having an argument with someone? How do you be present in that situation? There is no enjoyment in that moment, right? Of course right. But if you can be fully present, you will find that you are aware of the way you are responding to the other person. Perhaps you will be able to react differently than you would if you let yourself respond in anger. Full awareness of yourself helps you be aware of responses that are purely defensive, or provoking. Perhaps cultivating a peaceful, quiet presence can give your argument less angry energy, and change the outcome. Try it.
What does this have to do with Reiki? I’ll tell you. As a part of my Reiki practice, I do a daily self healing meditation. During this time, I open myself up and allow the energy to flow where it is needed. I cultivate a presence, being in the moment, not letting my thoughts wander other than a quiet awareness of the sensations in myself. It sets the stage for the rest of my day, reminding me that I have the power to be present.
Here’s an exercise for helping to establish presence in your life:
Breathe. Slowly. Deeply. Focus on your breath and the spaces in between your breaths. Stop to do this several times each day. Mindful focus on breathing helps you cultivate an awareness of the here and now, appreciation for the way your body works without your conscious effort, and brings you to the present moment.
Give presence a try and see how it changes things.
With love and light