Welcome to the part one of The Sanity Plan Principles series. The first principle is:
What is Being Present?
Being present, often referred to as mindfulness, is the act of focusing your thoughts on the here and now. To do so is to cultivate a deep, nonjudgmental awareness of your thoughts, external objects/people, or your position in space.
I believe that presence of mind is the fundamental principle before all of the other principles. It is the groundwork that one must do in order to live your life with purpose.
How do you become aware?
Presence of mind is a skill that must be learned. And practiced. In this modern life there are endless distractions that pull us away from true experience. We must work diligently to keep them at bay.
There are tons of good resources on how to become more mindful, here are a couple of my favorites:
How does being present help us?
Being present enhances our internal and external viewpoints. Becoming conscious of your thoughts as you have them sets you on a path of self-discovery. Collecting data from what other people say and the facial expressions they make allows us to better understand their actions and needs. Becoming aware of our place in society and this world helps us to navigate in this world and push for changes wherever needed.
Without awareness, we cannot see what needs to change.
Being present is equally hard to maintain and important to do. As you may have read in some of my essays, I have been through quite a bit between my parent’s divorce, my mother’s mental illness, my relationship with my stepmom, my special needs kids, etc.
I have to fight really hard to remain present. And when I’m not, the lack of mindfulness definitely takes a toll on my life. I feel very alone, cut off from the people I love and the experiences we are sharing.
The most helpful tactic for me is to feel my surroundings. Feel the steadiness of the ground beneath my feet. Feel the surfaces of tables, walls, or whatever is in my environment. Next, I focus my mind on what other people are saying. I ignore my own inner thoughts, which tend to be loud. It takes a lot of practice, but is easy to maintain once you get rolling.
What methods do you use in order to achieve presence of mind? How does it help you to restore Sanity in your life?
Next principle: Discover Yourself
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Yes, i so need to work on being present…
So true. A teacher once told me that the present is the state of being which is most like Eternity. There is a Psalm which reads “Be still and know that I am G-d.” So often we get caught up thinking about the past or worrying about the future, but the present truly is a gift.
Sane Mama says
Thank you for adding this! We have so much to learn from each other 🙂
Heather | Brainychicken.com says
I love Yoga for feeling grounded and concentrating on being “present”.
Sane Mama says
You are so right! I do too (when I actually get around to doing Yoga).
I really need to work on this. As an over thinker I struggle to remain present
Sane Mama says
Same downfall here! Makes it harder, but also very rewarding to be free from that…