Last week, I almost got into a car accident.
I work for grubhub and an order was late.
The previous driver was unable to finish the order and it made the food about a half hour late
I pride myself on customer service and even though the customer was understanding, it affected me. I got so frazzled and was running late to my next delivery that I didn’t see a stop sign.
I stopped just in time to see the face of the 13 or 14 year old girl that I would’ve hit.
I was too caught up in the stress to be in the present moment.
And because of that, I almost hit a child.
How many stop signs have you missed in your life?
Presence his POWERFUL
Presence is NECESSARY
It isn’t easy to remain in the present, but it’s a skill that isn’t just worth learning. You need to.
It takes time, effort, and focus. But it is possible.
Start with appreciating what’s around you. Stop and take a moment to see, hear, smell, feel the world around you. Hit pause and listen to the sounds around you. What are they? If you hear birds, try to pinpoint where the sound is coming from. If you hear talking, who is it that’s talking? What are they saying? Are you in your car? Listen to the hum of the tires or the wind bursting in through the windows. The shower? Feel the warm water wrap around you.
It may sound silly, but it is crucial to understanding what it feels like in the present moment.
In today’s day and age, we’re afraid to be left alone with our thoughts. We don’t like silence or not having a screen in our face. We are busy rehearsing the past or obsessing over the future. There’s so much going on that we never pay attention.
Heck, even sitting and watching a movie is a struggle for me. I either have to be working, folding laundry, or chatting with a friend. I can’t just sit and watch the movie without my mind wandering. It’s something that I really need to work on.
Being able to focus your mind on the present is a skill that will save your relationships, work, hobbies, and even your life.
“So really, Karleigh? That’s it? You just want me to listen?”
Don’t worry, the real work is coming. I don’t want you to leisurely take one headphone out while staring at your phone. You’re going to take your headphones and put them away. I want you to stop working. Stop talking. Stop moving around. Try to be still and really focus on what’s around you. If you need to, set a timer on your phone and put it in your back pocket. Keep your hands empty and really try to see and feel the world around you. Whether it’s at a park, at work, in the kitchen, before you brush your teeth.
Start with 30 seconds and work your way up to several minutes. This is very simple, but definitely not easy. But I’m your coach – I’m not here to make you comfortable, I’m here to help you grow.
Do this throughout the day, in different environments. This isn’t about quieting your mind or anything like that. This is just realizing that there’s a world outside ourselves.
After several days of this, start to put your phone down. I don’t mean on vibrate, silenced or off completely and go about your day for a few minutes. Do the dishes, talk to your family, go to the bathroom.
Remember those days of reading lotion bottles because we got so bored? Like, we couldn’t just sit there and do our business? Come on.
Start with a few minutes and grow.
Try doing one thing at a time with no distractions. Do laundry without the tv on. Play with your kids without your phone.
None of it is difficult to do, but this isn’t going to be easy.