What Does it Mean to Be "Present"?

I know you hear this a million times a day. Be Present!! Be Present! Everywhere there's a reminder to stay in this moment. You ARE in this moment though, you acknowledge that you're alive, which renders "staying present" absolutely meaningless, right?

That's what I thought for most of my life- being present to me meant distracting myself from what was really going on. Resistance to being "here". My mind was always traveling somewhere else- future, past, thinking past where I was always. Lost in worries or delusions of grandeur, thinking of what ifs, possible outcomes, and when I would "make it" and all of my self-doubts would go away and I'd get all the validation I secretly craved. In a weird way, I probably was more "present" because of my complicated relationship with THE PRESENT.

It wasn't until recently that I truly understood what this "woo woo concept", or, what I thought was something I'd only be urged to do at yoga, really meant.

It's a feeling. Energetically speaking, it's a subtle shift where everything looks hyper focused. Bodily, it feels like your energy travels straight down to your feet- when you're standing, well, you're really standing-- your feet have a weight to them and you actively feel them pressing into the ground. It's a sudden realization of "oh, I'm here" followed by "and everything is ok"

It's scary, because you do actually acknowledge that this is all you have. That future you were planning for all your life may not even happen and you'll have to be ok with it, and that starts now. With this dawning comes a sudden openness, of, wow, if that's not the outcome, then I have so many outcomes, and I have no fucking clue how it's all going to come together, who's going to reach out, who I'll meet, and it all starts NOW.

It's a sudden realization of, there's no foundation, and yet, you're standing on something solid.

The mind isn't great with paradoxes because of the focus on the left hemisphere. Paradoxes confuses the linear mind. 

I remember mostly as a child, not wanting to be present with my mother. I expected she'd always be around, and I'd have a habit of procrastinating on everything including experiencing the present. It was like, I'd store away all these moments in my memory to process later when I was alone. I didn't want to be around her to experience the wide range of things I felt towards her and still do-- all the love, anger, pain, confusion and misunderstanding. It was too much. I was taught since I was little not to feel.

It's been almost a year that she's been gone, and I'm left with the remnants of all those moments I never fully sunk into, that I never committed to because I was afraid. And in her absence, I recognize the importance of fully, fully committing to each moment of every day. Even in those moments that you feel like shit and everything isn't going your way, that you'll never get out of this, even in those moments you are annoyed at everyone. It's okay- just feel into it. Commit to it, and by committing to those moments you can commit to the better ones so much easier.

I wish I was present with her. It was like every moment I had with her I went into shock. And now having gone through the regret and the pain, I arrive at: the present. 

This is a beautiful place to be.

Remember: surrendering into the moment doesn't mean giving up. It means committing, and that is an action and a choice.