A few years ago I couldn't exist in the present without having plans. I needed to plan my day and my week. I needed to know what I was working towards, and what I was doing in a month and a year. My life was about what I would achieve, what goals I would meet, what challenges I could conquer.
That was all I knew and that was how I lived. It made me feel safe and secure. It gave me a sense of certainty and predictability - but while I was busy making plans about the future and reacting to things based on my past, I wasn't living!
Do you ever feel this way?
There is wisdom to suggest one of the keys to living a calm, centred and authentic life is the ability to stay in the present moment. Abraham Maslow even theorises "the ability to live in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness."
And most people would say this makes sense. Intellectually at least. But how do we put this into practice?
It has taken me a long time (and I'm still learning) how to stay present. And don't get me wrong, I fully advocate developing a conscious and deliberate vision of what we want our lives to look like, feel like, be like - of cultivating relationships, careers, habits and pastimes that bring us joy and fulfilment. But once this is developed it's about letting go and letting things take their course.
In the past, I had a tendency to 'live in my head' rather than experiencing my emotions, feeling my heart and tuning into the wisdom of my physical body. Now, the ability to connect to my whole self has led to much progress in staying present. Becoming a mother has helped me in many ways also, because when my son was a baby, some days it was literally about making it through the day - doing what needed to be done, living in the sleep deprived moment and being satisfied with keeping my baby alive!
Other than motherhood, I have found a number of other ways of coming back into my body and staying centred in the present. Here are some strategies to try:
I hope you found a technique to try, and please use this as a springboard for your own self-care list!
Amanda is a (reformed) lawyer turned holistic life coach, self-care advocate, workshop facilitator, writer, speaker, avid reader, nature lover, chai tea drinker and mother to a curious, active toddler. A spirit seeker who loves connecting with others on journeys of self-discovery, Amanda believes we can all find our own version of success and live an empowered life.