Why is it so hard to be present sometimes?
If you struggle with heavy anxiety, it can seem next to impossible to be present in the moment, especially in situations that trigger that anxiety, like social interactions, crowds, being the focus of attention, even just walking down the street, with anxious thoughts and feelings.
If you are conditioned to feel anxious or think anxious thoughts, becoming present to them and detaching from them can feel insurmountable at times.
I know for me this is so often the case. But I also know that it is precisely in these moments that I have to dig in deeper; when anxiety is on Red Alert, it is precisely those moments that I must still myself.
I tend to think of the world as a real-life training grounds, where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. It is one thing to practice presence when you are alone at home but it’s another thing entirely to bring that present moment awareness out into the real world.
Is that not ultimately the goal?
Was it not the world that was our first mirror to our selves as well as one of our greatest teachers?
It is in the world that we must face our challenges. Not in the bedroom. The world is where we do battle, face the dragons, and become the victor of our lives.
And the world deserves your gifts.
When we do not show up. When we are not fully present to ourselves and in the world, we hide our light from the world and in doing that we hide our gifts, we hide our greatness.
For people with anxiety, it can be extremely difficult to climb out of that hole and find ourselves in a position of strength and of power, to go from fear to fearless love.
That is a mighty task indeed! But I also know that when we are honest within and seek the answer to our hearts desires, we will find our inner strength, our inner courage, and our deepest love.
It is only when we follow the mind that we doubt ourselves, doubt our gifts and our capacity for love and for giving.
At its root, meditation is about reconnecting to that deeper part of ourselves, the Self that comes prior to thoughts and judgments. Being present is living from that place and letting your mind become a passenger to your experience of life.
When we let our hearts guide us and are at ease in ourselves and in the moment, anxious thoughts can still arise, but we can notice them and remain in control, in our bodies, in the driver’s seat.
We grow most through challenging situations and although the tendency is to shrink away from fear and challenge, we must summon the courage and resolve to push into the discomfort, to find stillness in the disruption, to stay connected to our own deepest selves, the Self that is grounded in this moment.
From that place, anxious and worrying thoughts or emotional pangs will not be able to throw you!