Be Present – The constant stimulation and distraction that inevitably comes with living in the information age can make it very difficult to remain present with what, and who, is right in front of us in this very moment. From the continuous vibrations of our smartphones alerting us to every email, text message, FB like, instagram comment and software upgrade, to the advertising industry’s incessant attempts to manipulate us into having wants and desires that don’t actually exist within us, it’s very easy to miss what’s actually happening.Setting a specific intention to put down our phones, iPads and even our own thoughts to an extent, and instead choose to emotionally connect with the ones physically around us, we can quickly find ourselves happier and enjoying each moment more. Even something as simple as making a point to share eye contact and a smile with someone you pass on the street can leave us feeling more alive, vibrant and cheerful than if we walk down the street with our mind absorbed in the email we’re reading on our phone… not to mention how much better it makes the ones around us feel.
Most of us can do very little about how our actual daily routine is conducted… the kids have to be fed, we have to go to work, the laundry has to be done. But the attitude we embody as we go through our day, that we can actually do something about. Choosing to take a relaxed attitude towards life, despite having to rush around in order to get everything done, can make all the difference as to whether we enjoy our lives or not. It can be as simple as remembering to take full breaths as we rush from one place to another (you know that we take shallow breaths when we’re stressed right?) and as all encompassing as developing a daily meditation habit designed to bring your unconscious mind into your conscious awareness, but however you get there, choosing to stay relaxed despite having to move quickly through our day can make a huge difference to the quality of our experience.
Whether we are at work, at home, out with friends or shopping at the grocery store, I’ve found that choosing to openly communicate with those around me has resulted in some incredibly positive personal growth. Choosing to verbalize challenges or difficulties we are experiencing, both personal ones and ones that involve others, can not only help to knock walls down between us, it can also help to build closer friendships and even support networks. When we choose to hold our struggles in and project that we are issue-less to others, we alienate and dehumanize ourselves, sometimes to the point of isolation. When we openly and honestly communicate with the people around us, others tend to soften and open up as well… the beauty and meaning that comes from these exchanges can be life-changing in my experience. I have managed to develop lasting and meaningful work relationships (even with people who almost everyone else would rather avoid), my marriage has been strengthened to the point where nothing could shake us apart, and I can, and do, have insightful and productive conversations with random strangers on a regular basis. Choosing to share our lives with others on an emotional level starts with open communication and it ends in an outpouring of love and connection.