The Practice of Being Present

“Being present.”

What does this mean?

And why would you want to be present?

There is so much talk lately about being “present”.
As in, being where you are, not multitasking, but actually being fully engaged with what is happening now in your life.

Why is this practice so important? It can have a pretty strong impact on those around you, either for better, if you are more present; or worse, if you’re not.

F’r instance, a scenario

Have you ever been with someone at a restaurant for a meal, and you thought you were going to spend time together, catching up?

But, there you are: seated, just next to him. The bread is on the table. The bottle of wine has just been opened and poured. And…he’s checked his phone at least twice since you both sat down.

Annnd, there he goes again.

He’s gone. His attention is, anyway.

How does that make you feel?
How does it impact your experience of them?

What benefits are they hoping will come from checking their phone constantly? Are they even aware of their compulsion to constantly hold and check their device?

Is this something you might do, unintentionally, yourself?

It’s all practice

Here’s another scenario, perhaps you’ve experienced this one yourself:

TV program is on, you’ve got your laptop open and are working on something, plus, your phone is right by your side and you are checking in on that every few minutes too.

Can you be fully focused an attentive to any of these 3 devices when they are all on and going? How about we add 1-2 people to the room too.

You may not really be enjoying the show on TV (or even really following it). Your work on the computer? Honestly, it’s compromised by the other frequent pulls for your attention.

And the sporadic attention to your phone… is that really producing anything in the moment, besides a drop of dopamine in your brain?

What if, in this scenario, the phone was on silent and left it in a purse or bag, or flipped over on the table…across the room…. if it has to be there at all?

Would you be willing to temporarily eliminate a distraction for a period of time?

What would that improve?

What will we gain by practicing this type of behavior? Here are a few reasons it is worth it to begin the practice of being more present:

  1. You will find immediately that you are enjoying your life much more. By stopping the constant phone check-in, we can listen more actively to those around us and make longer lasting relationships.
  2. You will find you’re much more productive when you focus. The biggest threat to excellence is distraction!
  3. Lastly, you will notice you have more time to imagine, to dream, because you aren’t a slave to the screen.

Try it out and hopefully you will become the master of your screen time.

Are there other ways that you try to eliminate distractions and practice being present? Please share them in the comments!

2017-12-27T00:00:00-08:00