Being Present for Our Lives

Watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

Have you ever observed a young child and how they play so freely, totally in awe of their surroundings? They're completely enthralled as their imaginations run wild and laughter flows like water. They know only love in their hearts. We're all born in this same state of being, totally present and "awake." As we grow older, we're conditioned to start seeing the world differently learning that we need to be the best and to get the education to get the job to buy the things that are supposed to make us happy. Right?

The further we drift from our essence, from our heart and souls, the more we live our lives inside of our own minds, which are often plagued with worry, fear, and regrets. We can learn a lot from children. When they're out on that playground, nothing else matters except the joy they're having in that moment. As adults, we tend to have very little presence as we constantly multi-task with our heads buried in our electronic gadgets while our minds race wildly, overloaded with thoughts. Sometimes those thoughts take us to the past, where we fret over poor decisions we wish we could do over. Or, maybe they anxiously fast forward us to the future, where we worry about what's next and if we'll ever be able to live up to certain standards. All the while, we're totally missing out on the only time that matters -- this moment! The past is dead. We can never change it. The future is not promised to anybody. All we ever have is this moment. So, imagine a life where we live each moment like it's our last, like children do. Think of all the joy we could experience!

Why wait for some life-altering event to happen to inspire living life joyfully, and in the moment? Why not start showing up for our lives right now?! - Dawn Gluskin

Many adults have spiritual awakenings triggered within after some form of hitting "rock bottom" or even a near-death experience. When they finally have that "a-ha" moment, they realize how much they've been missing out by living a self-created unhappy life. With this newfound awareness, they're then able to get to work on recreating themselves to live in a place of presence, consciousness, and love. But, what happens if we don't have an awakening before our time is up? If you talk to somebody on their death bed and ask them if they have any regrets in life or what they would do over, the most common answers are, "I wish I spent more time with my friends and family, enjoying life, worrying less, and smiling more." Nobody ever says "I wish I had more things and money and spent more time working and worrying."

Why wait for some life-altering event to happen to inspire living life joyfully, and in the moment? Why not start showing up for our lives right now?! In order to nurture our spirits, we need to create the space to be conscious of our truth. Being aware and present is one of the best ways to honor our lives and the lives of those around us.

Here are a few tips to become more in-the-moment so you can show up and be present for your life!

Meditate. A meditation practice trains our minds to quiet the excess chatter running through -- thoughts of anxiety, fear, and self-doubt. Regularly meditating allows us to know our higher self and channel our childlike essence so we begin to realize all those thoughts are just thoughts. They aren't who we really are. With this knowledge and training, we free ourselves to become more focused on the present moment and enjoy more blissful living. It's not instant gratification, however. Just like working out -- the more often you meditate, the better the results. Those who meditate regularly often experience feelings of calm, clarity, and love.

Follow your bliss. If money wasn't an object, what would you spend your days doing? Think about what activities you can get completely carried away in and lose all track of time: Painting? Writing? Playing music? Spending time in nature? What feels good to your soul? Once you know your bliss, follow it! Of course, we can't all go out and quit our day jobs, but, at the very least, try to do one thing every single day that makes you happy. You'll find that presence comes completely natural when engaged in your blissful work.

Limit Electronics. Technology has many positive perks, and I'm not suggesting we tune out completely. However, with all of the digital distractions out there, our minds become overloaded with useless information making it nearly impossible to stay present. Perhaps, try implementing a "no electronics" rule during family dinners, at social outings, or at dedicated times each day so you can practice being totally present for yourself and those around you. As much as I love social media, I've recognized that it can be very addictive and a major time-suck. I set myself time limits to prevent it from interfering with my family time, presence, and following my bliss.

Quit Multi-Tasking. We're all guilty of this: eating lunch while writing an email, surfing the web while talking on the phone and other attempts at handling multiple tasks at once make it impossible to give our full attention and presence to any one particular tasks. We're totally missing out on living! At the very least, when it comes to communicating with others, try to give them your undivided attention. Human connections play a big factor in what makes life so special -- let's not miss out on these deep connection opportunities.

Practice Forgiveness and Love. This one starts within, first. We're really too hard on ourselves. Think about all the precious life moments wasted inside our minds worrying, regretting, resenting, and fearing. Now forgive yourself and make a commitment to change the way you think to live more in the moment from now on! Learn to love yourself with an "everything is happening exactly as it is meant to" attitude. Life is love. Love is life. Living in love at all times helps us to remember our true nature.

I wish you lots of love and light in your journey to finding presence and bliss in your daily lives. I'd love to know some of your favorite ways to stay present and channel your childlike essence. I invite you to please to stop by my Facebook page and let us know. Namaste.

Ideas are not set in stone. When exposed to thoughtful people, they morph and adapt into their most potent form. TEDWeekends will highlight some of today's most intriguing ideas and allow them to develop in real time through your voice! Tweet #TEDWeekends to share your perspective or email to learn about future weekend's ideas to contribute as a writer.