The Present of Presence

You have more control over your own happiness than you think you do

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Photo credit: Kristina Leonardi

“A human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind,” was the conclusion of a Harvard study whose research was conducted using an iPhone app. It is a sentiment that many religions and philosophies have proclaimed for centuries and can best be summed up by the popular phrase “Be here now.”

If researchers had a window into our minds, they’d see that we are almost never fully engaged in what is right in front of us, whether we’re thinking about the past or future, or simply not focused on the task at hand — and that causes unhappiness.

According to Andrew Bernstein’s book The Myth of Stress, it’s not the activity or situation that is the stressor, it’s our mind’s perception and reaction to the situation that causes the stress. By recognizing the reality of a circumstance and truly comprehending why it is happening, you can greatly reduce your adverse response to whatever is taking place.

I am always talking about process and “understanding where you’re at.” Most unpleasant situations you find yourself in are impermanent; by simply accepting that they are temporary, you can greatly increase your sense of inner peace and balance. Because life is constantly in motion you need to learn how to “go with the flow” and knowing that “this too shall pass.”

Remember that if you show up mentally, as well as physically, to that meeting, event or conversation, you’ve already done half the work, and the Universe can meet you halfway to create whatever it is you want or need.

Out of chaos always comes clarity. Need a little help living happily in the unknown and keepin’ it in real time? I can be a human app that checks in to show you how to make sense of and make the best out of any situation you find your present self.

Originally published on on November 16, 2010.


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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


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