“Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever.”
— Jack Kerouac
Hello! Are you in there?
Are you sleepwalking through your days like a zombie?
Or are you wide awake, present to the infinite potential for peace, happiness, and fulfillment available right now?
If you find yourself lost in your thinking mind for hours or days on end, here’s the truth: you’re missing out on life. You’re stuck in repeating unhappy stories about what should have happened and ruminating about what you’re sure will go wrong.
This is how I lived for so many years.
I believed the contents of my mind, which left me thinking I was lacking, limited, and doomed to be dissatisfied. This was my living reality.
The Joys of Being Present and Aware
But I discovered how to be present to the flow of life. And when you do, you’ll realize that there is so much here beyond your thoughts.
When we’re not absorbed in thinking, we’re quiet inside yet fully alive. We tap into universal presence, the fundamental ground of being that is boundless and whole before thought tries to diminish it.
We discover we’re one with life, not separate from anything, and we’re infinitely at peace.
We know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are not the limited person who lacks, strives, needs, fears, and defends.
Everything becomes sacred. We’re naturally wise and open-hearted, meeting everyone and everything with love and understanding.
Present in the Moments of Your Life
This magnificent truth is available to realize in any moment. If you’re interested in the deepest fulfillment, don’t live one more second in your limited ideas of yourself and the world.
Enjoy these five practices that joyously bring you home to yourself every time.
1. Consciously Be Aware
Living unconsciously leaves you spinning in unhappy mental habits. You know how it is. You play out old conditioning like a robot without even being aware of what you’re doing or why.
Take some time every day to consciously be alive to your present moment experience. It’s so simple! You’ll realize what a relief it is to just be aware.
• Sit quietly for 10 minutes or more of daily meditation where you rest as open space, doing nothing, allowing your experience to come and go. Even better if you take this time twice a day.
• When you realize a strong emotion is present, rather than letting it drive you, inhale and exhale. Welcome the feeling in the space of aware presence without acting on it.
• Stop once an hour and shift your attention away from the world and back to yourself so you’re alive to what’s present right now. This is what I do frequently, and it transforms my daily life experience.
2. Expand Your Mind
When we’re stuck in beliefs about ourselves and the world, we’re ignoring the fullness of what life is offering us right now.
What if you didn’t expect anyone to do anything? What if you forgot to believe that you’re fearful or unworthy? What if things are just fine as they are without your trying to control them?
When you notice a familiar thought pattern, let it fall away. Yes, that’s right—just let it go. Keep inviting your mind to open…open…open, clear and vast like a cloudless sky.
Consider the possibility that all this thinking is unnecessary (because it is).
3. Love Your Body
Many of us live in our minds, contracted into ideas about things, consumed by trying to figure everything out. And here’s what we’re missing.
Whenever you’re feeling an emotion or you’re lost in an unconscious habit, you’re experiencing sensations in your body.
While you’re worrying about getting everything done, there are places in your body that are tense and contracted. If you feel frustrated, your body may be agitated, pressured, or about to explode.
Instead of being stuck in your mind, shift your attention downward to bring a boundless field of awareness to these physical sensations. Let them come and go without telling a story about them. It’s the healing balm you’ve needed for so long.
And isn’t it delicious to simply be peaceful with what is?
4. Forget What You Know
Every moment is so incredibly fresh! Forget what you know, and live in alignment with this freshness.
• Stand before someone who triggers you, forgetting any history together.
• Clear your mind of any false, limiting ideas about yourself.
• Taste, touch, see, and hear things freshly, as if for the first time.
• Wake up in the morning and spend a few hours not knowing what you’ll do or say.
• Open to the possibility of experiencing awe and wonder in the simple things of ordinary life.
5. Notice Awakened States
Your true nature is awake, aware, and peaceful—whether you consciously know it or not. The simple act of noticing what’s already true aligns your mind, body, and heart with this infinite presence, overflowing with life.
As you go through your day,
• Notice, and enjoy, when you’re separate self dissolves into the flow of an enjoyable activity.
• Recognize when your heart is touched in the face of beauty, tenderness, and love.
• Be grateful for creative ideas and let them flourish.
• Surrender your desires and dissatisfactions and experience the brilliance of life as it is actually unfolding.
Just like the true nature of a wave is ocean, your true reality is the limitless splendor of the universe.
Remind yourself that nothing is personal to you—everything appears by grace. Then go out there fully alive in your humanity, free and receptive to what life offers you.
What About You?
What is your experience of being fully present in the moment and not caught in your mind? What gets in the way? Please leave a comment, and we’ll talk about it! And if this post touched you, please share it so others can benefit.
About the Author:
Dr. Gail Brenner is a psychologist, author, and speaker who joyfully helps people discover that suffering is optional. Visit her website, GailBrenner.com, for hundreds of articles and a free chapter of her new book, “The End of Self-Help: Discovering Peace and Happiness Right at the Heart of Your Messy, Scary, Brilliant Life.”