We see it everywhere, read it most parenting and self development books, and we see the word present. I even wrote it in my own blog posts … however, do we actually understand what ‘being present’ means?
I read it, I learned about it, I studied it… I thought I knew…I thought I understood… When it comes to bringing all your knowledge into practice, that is the real test.
You see, your presence, your consciousness, and your awareness depend on how much awareness you have around you, how focused you are on the things that you are doing right now, right this very moment.
Are you over thinking?
What are you feeling?
What are you sensing?
For example, some mornings when I wake up from a terrible dream, I would then start in my mind a series of old stories that I encountered. And then it would have spiraled into "bad" movies that made me feel awful, tired and left me feeling drained even before I got out of bed… and potentially projecting tonnes of fear into my day.
Or, sometimes I recall a conversation between myself and my child that did not go very well. The more I thought about it, the more guilty or bad I felt… and I started to beat myself up for no good reason… only if I had said things differently, being more patient, thought about it before I spoke… and so your feel-good feelings and emotions just go out of the window.
So for instance, only recently I was at my son's graduation; we were going to his graduation ceremony and my daughter was in the driver's seat. It was a busy afternoon at the university and a parking spot was hard to come by. However, we were lucky enough to find a spot, which was unfortunately very small, but enough to get our car in.
My daughter took a few tries to reverse park, and I could sense the other cars were waiting impatiently. I have a tendency to worry… worry about people waiting, what would they say… Such thoughts that are from a FEAR are not serving you.
I was trying hard to remain calm and not be intimidated by the waiting cars, but ashamedly, I failed miserably. I became overly conscious of other people waiting… their impatience while my daughter still was struggling to get the car reversed parked. In my mind, I kept my voice calm and asked my daughter whether she needed me to help her park the car… which after a few attempts I ended up parking for her.
It was not a pleasant incident, and I really had to think hard about my reaction.
Why was I so worried about other people's impatience? What about my daughter? How would have she felt?
No, it was not a nice thing to do… and I was not proud of it. Through the lack of focus and not being present, I allowed the fear of other people's judgments affect my better judgment, rather than focusing on HOW to guide my daughter to maneuver the vehicle into the parking lot. This was the time she needed me to remain calm and be in the moment with her.
Have you had that feeling before?
What have I learned from this very valuable lesson?
- Be present – focus on what is important right in front of you, i.e. your child.
- Be your children's guiding force and not act against them.
- Remain calm and remind him or her of the time when she or he succeeded in similar circumstances, as this is the time they need to hear that the most.
- Stand by her for better or worse, and love her unconditionally.
- And remember to breath and feel!
Live in the present, not the past, where you allow what has already taken place to take over your thoughts of your future. If you live in the past, and where you are predicting what is about to happen and project the fear onto the present, (which is what I did when I was more concerned about the impatience of other drivers) means that you ae not focused on the present. When I did that, I missed out on being there for my daughter when she needed me most.
Yes, your unconscious childhood programming (fears) can hit you at any given time; however, choose to be conscious, be present and be aware of your senses, your thoughts, your fears, and your insecurities. And consciously choose to focus on what is happening right now, how you would react, like what you can do, what you are going to say, and be constructive.
Have a connected day with your family.