Thursday, April 1, 2010

Practicing “Being” –- Access to the Present Moment

Practicing intentionality is not only crucial to success, but to being present – in life, with people, in your skin. It is important to ask yourself who you want to be in in the moment, so that you are in a position to choose, rather than just reacting, to what is coming into your experience. In the blog entry on setting intentions, I give an example of how you may apply that to individual situations. Here's a way to extend that to a daily practice.

Every morning, I set out with an intention of who I want to focus on being for that day. For example, I recently chose “being patience” (not just “patient”) as my focus. I thought about the word and what it means – both as an action and as a concept. I practiced by trying to consciously apply “being patience” to everything that came my way – choosing my response rather than simply reacting unconsciously. I don’t make it heavy and serious; rather, I like to have fun with it and see how creative I can be in applying it.

This is how “being patience” looked that day. I asked myself repeatedly, “How can I bring patience (or be patience) in this situation?” Here are a few examples of how I applied it:
  • Shaving – Being patience with the process (one I don't enjoy) so that I didn’t nick myself
  • Gym – Being patience with my own limitations and slow progress so that I could refocus on my commitment to health
  • Phone Call – Being patience with a customer service rep so I could keep calm and create a more positive outcome
  • Email – Being patience with the amount of time and focus it took to read and respond thoughtfully
  • Client Meeting – Being patience as a model for my client, and exploring ways he could apply it himself
  • Myself – Being patience with myself for becoming impatient or not remembering to “be patience” in situations where it would have been useful!
I’m not 100 percent. However, the more I practice, the more often I’m able to apply it throughout the day. It’s not only about practicing the “being” itself, but also about practicing being present enough to be able to choose – moment by moment, situation by situation. Some others I’ve played with are being gratitude, abundance, joyful, playful, passionate…and the list goes on.

How might you impact your experience if you remembered to practice "being" a couple of times (twice is more than zero) throughout the day? It would totally shift your interactions, your ability to be present, and perhaps even how you view yourself.

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