The Power to Be Present
Three Steps to Mindfulness at Work
One of my favorite books is by Eckhart Tolle. It’s “The Power of Now.” It’s a unique book. It tells about the importance of recognizing that today is all we have. There is no promise of tomorrow, and yesterday is behind us. We can’t change it, and we can’t relive it. It is gone.
So, how do we do things like plan for our career, or wedding, or retirement..and still be present today?
Here are three tips that can help!
Every moment.. good, bad, and indifferent, is an experience that can teach. Difficult experiences make us stronger. They allow us to face the next difficulty with grace.
Pleasant experiences teach us that we’re worthy of good things. We can find ourselves so focused on the future that we don’t stop and appreciate what is right in front of us.
I remember driving my children to elementary school. Each morning I focused on their inability to get ready on time or to wear what I thought they should wear. So many of those morning drives turned into arguments. By the time they got out of the car all three of us were emotionally exhausted.
It was years later that I finally realized I missed what was right in front of me. It was then that I realized that the half-hour drive with my kids was a gift. A time to talk and to listen. I spent years planning on their future, planning on my future, but each day I was missing the present.
And…I’ll never get those years or those moments back.
2. Prepare (by being present)
Prepare, don’t obsess. The best way to prepare for the future is to be present today. I say that because it’s today that the lessons are being taught. If you hate your job and you want out, it’s easy to focus on the future. But, the lessons might be happening right here in the moment.
Be present at your meetings. Put the phone away. Stop thinking about what you need to do after work. Take the moment you’re in and “be” there. When you do that you will begin to see things that you didn’t notice before.
You’ll notice what you like about your environment. And, you’ll gain clarity on what you want to change. You’ll see strengths in people and you’ll begin to see areas for improvement in yourself.
If you allow yourself to be 100% present, you’ll begin to see things in a new way. The future job or career you want in the future suddenly becomes more clear. Because you decided to show up and be present today.
Finally, accept. Learning to accept today as it is and to appreciate it for all that it means is the most difficult part of growing. But, it’s the first step to enlightenment.
If you’re currently unemployed, underemployed, or facing some other challenge today accept it. Ask yourself how you’ve managed to survive this challenge so far. Yes, the fact that you’re surviving each day shows strength! Recognize that and embrace it. Be still, be quiet.
Accept what is. Even the struggles will seem like gifts once you accept what is. The very moment that you accept today, tomorrow will begin to unfold for you.
I invite you to stop trying to control each fiber of your life. (I invite me to do that too, it’s not easy and it takes practice!) Appreciate where you are. Prepare yourself for tomorrow by being present in today. Let go of your plans. Stop and listen, the answers will find you.
We’re all works in progress..each day that we are mindful will help us grow.