by Joseph Bernard
Recently something truly amazing happened. I was sitting at the beach feeling the warm winds, taking in the gleaming blue Pacific. It was the time of day when the sunlight turns the ocean into waves of sparkling radiance.
The beauty touched me deeply. In that appreciation of the moment, something shifted inside me. I became so present that my identity of self dissolved into the background.
I was not only in the universe, but the universe was now in me.
“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.” ~Thich Nhat Hahn
As I write this I feel the energy of heightened awareness flowing through me, and have the privilege of enjoying that goose bumpy moment again. This is the universe affirming a moment of true significance.
Two insights stand out for me as I explore the significance of this early evening experience:
First, as I entered into full appreciation for the beauty of the moment, I became completely in the now. In the present, love, joy, higher consciousness, and peace naturally arise.
Second,in the now, I entered into unity consciousness where my self-identity shifted to a place of oneness with all of life.
These two insights led to a list of expanded possibilities that I would like to share with you. But first, here is a practice you can explore that will assist you in becoming fully present:
This simple but powerful practice is mindful breathing.
Find a peaceful place. Quiet work’s the best. Begin by feeling your chest expand as you breathe in, then notice your chest relax as your breathe out.
As you tune in and feel your body in response to the breath, you become fully present. Each mindful cycle of the breath brings you more fully into the moment.
When your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your body’s response to the breath. Breathing in this way brings peace to your mind, aliveness to your body, and joy in the moment.
After a while, you can do this practice even in noisy places. My favorite time for breathing mindfully is on a walk.
Now, 50 gifts from living in the present, as promised:
1. Your fears shrink to a whisper.
2. You find joy waiting for you.
3. Your heart feels free to love.
4. You feel connected to all beings.
5. You are one with the wisdom of the collective consciousness.
6. You feel at peace with yourself.
7. You feel free to be who you are.
8. You open to creativity.
9. You appreciate the beauty of those you love.
10. You are accepting of yourself and others.
11. Your need to judge falls away.
12. You can step back and see the bigger picture.
13. You listen to the quiet knowing of your soul.
14. Your ego-mind’s need for power and control is quiet.
15. Your mind is open to greater knowing.
16. You are easily motivated and inspired.
17. You have more awareness and insights.
18. You easily choose happiness.
19. Your life feels purposeful.
20. You feel filled with gratitude.
21. You love yourself.
22. You heal your past.
23. You live free of worry.
24. You enjoy real and meaningful relationships.
25. You do life with great passion.
26. You find pleasure in the simplest of things.
27. You feel inspired to express yourself more fully.
28. You do what is healthy for you.
29. You have fun letting your inner child out to play.
30. You are calm and patient.
31. You learn to sit quietly and enjoy the silence.
32. You experience your connection to nature.
33. Your consciousness expands, filling your eyes with light.
34. You think of tomorrow but live fully today.
35. You pay attention to your intuition.
36. You rest easier and sleep more deeply.
37. You merge with the Source.
38. You express your inner genius.
39. You pursue the full expression of your potential.
40. You give and serve for the good of others.
41. You walk the Earth in peace.
42. You are open and appreciate differences.
43. You forgive, let go of the past and move on.
44. You find ways to express your unique greatness.
45. You act with confidence, trusting yourself.
46. You feel hope and trust in things working out.
47. You take responsibility for your life.
48. You march to your own drum beat, do your own dance.
49. You lead a dynamic and energetic life.
50. You live in balance and harmony.
These gifts are all available to you. Living in the now takes clear intention and consistent practice. Or simply a moment of pure appreciation for the beauty you are experiencing.
Each day I live in deep appreciation for so much because I see, feel, sense, and know life is the most awesome journey. Living in the now is a true gift. That is why they call it the “Present.”