By Kate Jarosinska
The present moment has become somewhat of a taboo subject. This is because it almost sounds like the present moment is something that we either hold on to or we don’t. We must meditate to get there, we must try to remember that it’s there, we are in it sometimes and not other times. But what is the present moment?
The present moment is awareness becoming aware of itself. As the person lives naturally and freely, no matter how unbound or bound they are to their thoughts their awareness is awake! This awareness sees the story, it feels the feelings, it hears the sounds and the thoughts. It is the space in which everything is happening. This is full of harmony with what is, and unless we learn to create space for all that is, we will constantly be trying to escape what is.
This is a message about making peace with what is. There is no better time than the holidays to explore this.
Here are the top ten practical tips for creating harmony with what is:
1. Light Incense or Candles. Watching a flame, smelling a beautiful scent and having a practice of lighting incense can trigger the mind to be relaxed immediately. This is especially true if you make it a point to sit still for a few minutes each time you light a candle or stick of incense.
2. Keep Flowers and Live Plants In the House. Plants and flowers always command appreciation and presence. Keeping them around the house will consciously and even subconsciously bring you peace with what is.
3. Listen to Music. Beautiful music will always relax, uplift and inspire you. If you’re hanging out around the house, driving or working, playing beautiful music allows you to move into a state of one continuous beautiful experience.
4. Take Walks Instead of Working Out Sometimes. Working out can feel more like a chore or slave driver sometimes. A nice walk is just as physically beneficial and helps you notice the neighborhood plants, animals and people and most importantly helps you to slow down!
5. Use Bathing or Hand Washing as a Practice. Feel the temperature of the water, imagine yourself purifying your heart, your mind and your body as the water encompasses you. Be present to every single physical movement during your shower or bath. Water has an extremely high energy and will always make you feel relaxed and present!
6. Sing. Whether it’s mantras or song lyrics, belt out beautiful tunes and you will immediately connect with the joy and beauty that is.
7. Take Breaks Often. Whether it’s to get a breath of fresh air, eat your lunch outdoors, make a cup of tea or call a friend - finding a break from cooking, working, taking care of the those around you will always recharge and uplift you.
8. Turn off Electronics. The world won’t end if you give up electronics for the afternoon or even for just a few hours. Turning off electronics has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety and the best part is: the world can go on without you for a bit!
9. Really Listen. Listening is a much more sacred practice than talking. This is because listening is receptive. Not only will it strengthen your relationships, but it will increase the degree of awareness and presence in the body. And remember: a minute or two of silence is beautiful not awkward!
10. Hug and Kiss Family and Friends. We need physical touch. This is just the gentle and subtle acknowledgment of our connection and shared humanness. When you share kindness, compassion and love with others through touch you strengthen social bonds and emotional fulfillment. This has been proven by Harvard researchers and considered one of the greatest antidotes to depression and anxiety.
About Kate Jarosinska
Kate Jarosinska is a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher, founder of Youth4Yoga, Spiritual Shifts and a blogger from Warsaw, Poland. In her teaching she blends deep pranayama practices with positive messages and guided imagery to facilitate therapeutic impacts on the body and mind. She has been practicing Kundalini Yoga for close to a decade and leads the Live + Breathe Catholic Charities refugee and immigrant yoga program.