Secrets to Being More Present

Uncategorized Jul 26, 2022

Did you know that underneath absolutely every activity, endeavour, goal and intention, what we really want is to be more present? That’s what we’re all about whether we’re aware of it or not. Presence.

I’ve been reading a very interesting book called Mind, Body and Sport by Dr John Douillard. As a former Phys Ed Teacher, I’m finding it really fascinating because basically we’ve got sports, physical activity and exercise all wrong.

According to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda (the science of connecting with nature and unifying mind, body and spirit), exercise has three functions. 

1-to rejuvenate the body and cultivate the mind

2-to remove stress

3-to develop body-mind coordination

So, let me ask you first: do you move your body regularly? And if you do (you would be in a very low percentage of the population) do you find that physical activity does those 3 things for you?

If you’re like most people, probably not. For the majority, exercise does the exact opposite; it breaks the body down, causes stress both physically and emotionally and is an opportunity to check out and ignore what the body is doing.

Consider what you see at most gyms and for many people being active: headphones/airpods are in, screens are flickering, magazines or books are being read and the body is doing its thing - which is very likely going beyond its limits before it’s ready.

I definitely used to fall into this category. I found I could distract myself from the discomfort of exercise by watching a movie while bouncing on a rebounder, reading a novel while riding a stationary bike/climbing stairs that go nowhere, or listening to a class/webinar while running. 

Then I learned this very important principle that has to do with being present: what the body is doing, the mind should do also and vice versa. 

I decided to abandon all the distractions while exercising and focus on breathing. WOW. What a difference. Those ancient masters were really onto something!

And although I used to think I was really getting a lot done by multitasking, I now see the sweetness of being truly present. There’s just no comparison to the experience I have now. In fact, it feels like I get more done and have more time. (One of the many benefits of being present.)

So here’s a challenge for the week. Is there something that you do regularly where you now notice that you’re not fully present? If so, what if you brought your mind onto what your body is doing? 

It could be:

  • eating a meal and really tasting it
  • preparing a meal and pouring love into the food while you chop, mix and stir
  • going for a walk and reveling in your surroundings
  • doing something more active and focusing on your breath moving in and out of your body
  • having a conversation with someone and really listening 

Oh the possibilities!

Perhaps make yourself a post it note or put a reminder on your phone that says: 

What the mind is doing, the body does also. What the body is doing, the mind does also. 

Then see where it takes you. (And by the way, the mind will likely not be on board. Just this past weekend, I really wanted to read while I ate lunch but instead, I chose for my mind and body to do the same thing. I arranged myself on my comfy lounger out in the sun, set my phone out of reach and just ate. It was heavenly.)

So there you go. Secrets to being more present. I hope you give it a whirl this week. 

Oh and by the way, here are some other tidbits from Mind, Body, and Sport that might intrigue you:

  • For the highest performance and enjoyment when exercising or competing, all breathing should be done through the nose (which takes practice)
  • Once people switch to the process outlined in the book, they have better results and no injuries
  • The ‘runner’s high’ or ‘being in the zone’ can be accessed every workout session by any person, regardless of activity, experience, or fitness goals
  • Most people go way past what the body is ready for but when you follow the Mind Body Sport process, you’ll be able to surpass all your previous results with far less effort

See? Fascinating. I highly recommend the book.

May you bask in the peace and fulfillment of uniting body and mind both while being active and in stillness.

With delightful love and sacred courage,

Christina

>Creator of Courageous Self-Care

>still holding my exciting news until it feels ready to share

>just celebrated my 24th anniversary!

PS - Our Hawaiian Healing Dance ritual for releasing, letting go and forgiveness is coming up this Thursday. If you want letting go to be easier and more graceful, please join us. Details are here. 

PPS - For the ultimate mind-body experience, try out Body Awake Yoga. This week’s class will be a short 30 minutes. Date and time is on the calendar below. If you haven’t already joined the community, click here to do so and get the link to join the virtual classes on Fridays or access the replays. It’s free to join :)