[dc]I[/dc]t’s approaching dusk and I’m at the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, in Bar Harbor, Maine. The views are breathtaking, the energy is an interesting combination of buzzing and peaceful, and with each minute, more and more people arrive to watch the sunset. Some have hiked up the mountain, some have driven.
As the sun begins its rapid descent, onlookers scurry to find a good viewing spot. Melissa and I head off to the side hoping to get away from some of the crowds, and, while we do find a quieter area, there are still dozens of people. Kids are running around and screeching with excitement, cameras are snapping, couples are bickering. I turn to look at Melissa to roll my eyes when I notice a woman walking toward us.
She’s alone, and stops about 10 feet away. I watch as she looks beyond the people toward the sun and puts her hands in prayer position while gently closing her eyes. I find myself fixated on her and the beautiful light that surrounds her. It’s as if her inner stillness is beaming outward.
I turn away to witness the glorious colors in the sky as the sun sets, but can still feel her presence. It’s lovely. Once it dips below the horizon, I turn back around just as the woman opens her eyes, gives a gentle smile toward the sky, turns, and leaves.
Silently, I thank the Universe for bringing her to me to help me remember that I have the power to savor each and every moment. Though others may be making noise around me, I can always go within to find peace.
Maybe you have lots of “noise” around you that seems to be preventing you from having your moment or doing what you’d like. That noise might consist of obligatory commitments, your job, a struggling relationship, rambunctious children, gossipy friends, draining family members, your inner critic, etc. But guess what? You are in charge. You get to decide how you let a situation or person affect you.
So much peace and clarity can be found within. It just takes some consciousness and commitment to find it. Oftentimes, we’re trying to get through each moment in hopes that the next one will bring relief or peace, and, as a result, we end up racing and sleepwalking through life. It’s time to reclaim the moment!
I’m sure you’ve heard or read about how important it is to be in the present moment as much as possible. I know, easier said than done. Here are a few tactics I use to bring myself back to center:
- Ask silly, present-moment questions. Things like, “Where are my feet right now?” “What color socks am I wearing?” or “What time is it?”
- Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Inhale for four seconds while silently saying “So,” hold for two seconds, and exhale for three seconds while silently saying “Hum”. So-Hum is a meditative mantra to use while doing this breathing exercise to help ground your energy. If you find, when inhaling, that you have a tendency to yawn, try to breathe a bit deeper, making sure your stomach extends on the inhale.
- Pull your energy back into your body. If you’re not in the moment, there’s a good chance your energy is at least partly removed from your body. Close your eyes and imagine your energy as a cloud of white light above your head. How big the cloud seems to be is a pretty good indication of how uncentered you are. Now imagine that you are gently guiding that beautiful white light back into your body through the top of your head, the crown chakra. Keep breathing as you do this until you can sense that you’re realigned. If you get distracted or annoyed, just take some deep breaths to get things moving again.
- Stand up, stretch, and shake it out. Sometimes, our bodies can feel sluggish and stagnant, and who wants to be present with that? Get on your feet, have a good stretch, then shake out your arms and legs, roll your head back and forth, and move around. This not only wakes up your body and your muscles, but also your spirit!
It really is that simple. You are the boss of you. No one else is. When we let others impact our lives negatively, we trade our power for frustration. Seems like a raw deal to me, and that’s a transaction I’m no longer interested in. How about you?
Your turn! Where in your life do you hand away your power? Do you struggle to stay present? To ground your energy? What tactics work for you? What tips and suggestions can you offer? Please share in the comments below to take this convo even further.