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Give yourself the gift to BE Present

Start off the new year by adopting simple practices and give yourself the gift of BEING present.

Photo by Lisa De Nicola. Amalfi Coast, Italy
Photo by Lisa De Nicola. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Welcome back!  To a new year, a new start and 365 days ahead of you to DO whatever it is your heart ❤ desires.

Coming back from a relaxed holiday with lots of time for rest, sleep (LOTS of sleep), family time, filling my belly (and soul) with love and yummy treats.  I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.  The return to work after the Christmas holidays can sometimes be overwhelming as many of us are often being greeted by an avalanche of work that is just waiting to get done. 

There’s a sense of urgency to get things started, to gain some momentum having been off and business dormant for a few weeks.  To get some traction on projects that might have been set aside to get done or started on in the new year.  Not to mention, re-adjusting back to your weekday work routine of early mornings, preparing for your commute ahead (mentally and emotionally), early nights and let’s not forget your diet.  Gone are the holiday treats and magically you’re back to morning smoothies, soups and salads for lunch, etc.  😉

So how do you ensure a great start to the year without losing yourself in the hustle and bustle of routine? 

BE PRESENT.

Being present allows us to BE in the moment.  It helps us stay connected in the task at hand, the person we’re having a conversation with, or the meeting we’re trying to participate in, etc.  It also allows us to remain grounded and puts us in a relaxed state.  Particularly if you’re one who easily gets anxious by constantly projecting to the future or playing into the distractions that surround us all.  Just like maintaining balance in your day to day has its benefits, being present is equally just as important.  You can easily notice some of the benefits listed above once put into practice.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Believe me, I recognize the number of distractions we’re surrounded by.  Including those convenient devices we all walk around with 24/7, which can seem impossible to let go of all the time.  But the beauty that detaching and being in the moment in just the smallest of ways can offer us, is priceless.

In a world where we’re constantly planning for our futures or worrying about what happened yesterday, it’s no wonder we can’t appreciate the present moment for what it is!  The truth is, you’ll never have that same moment again if you’re too busy focused on the next thing to do.  What time you have to go to the gym, or that you have that appointment you need to make before you forget, etc. etc. etc.

I try my best to put this into practice every day, whether I’m by myself or with people and while it’s a work in progress, the benefits I can confidently say make a difference.  Not just for me, but the people I’m with as well.

Start with baby steps that can help shift your behavior.

Put your phone away when going to a business meeting or meeting a friend for coffee.  Not on the table face down – AWAY.

Take notice of your breathing and the way you feel whether you’re alone or with people.

If you have a nagging or recurring thought, notice it and let it pass.  Re-focus your attention to what you’re doing.  Writing down your thoughts or journaling before starting your day can help let go of any thoughts you might have and clear your head if you have a busy mind.

If you have someone in your life who is FABULOUS at being present – take notice of them!  Being around others who are equally present can make it easier to learn from and adopt simple practices.

Take notice of your surroundings.  Even if you go to the same coffee shop, ride the same bus or train everyday to work.  Try doing so without music in your ears, reading your book or scrolling through Instagram.  Try just sitting there without having to do something.

Again, baby steps to shift behavior.  It’s about progress, not perfection.  Give yourself the gift of BEING present and take joy in the benefits.

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