Have you ever experienced a time when you have driven a car, caught public transport or walked from destination A to destination B with no recollection of “what happened during this time?” If you have no conscious memory of the experience, what did you experience?
The purpose of this lesson is to explore the power of the present moment.
Most people live most of their lives in the past or the future. They do this by recreating stories in their mind and forget to immerse themselves in what is happening in the “now”. In this lesson we will explore why this occurs, the impact of living in the past or future, why it is important to be in the present moment and how to go about doing this.
Overview of the Lesson:
Imagine you are on a skydiving adventure and have to jump out of a plane. If skydiving is too unfamiliar, instead imagine a different extreme sport or adventure activity. When you jump out of the plane are you thinking of anything besides what is unfolding in the moment?
The answer is absolutely not. All of your attention and energy is focused on that moment and regardless of what else is happening in your life, you are aware only of the platform and the jump. When jumping out of a plane, you are not thinking about the strength of your finances, your relationships or your health. Imagine how life would be different if you were able to bring in that level of presence to each moment?
Being in the present moment is when your awareness is completely in your body and heart space (located around the area of your sternum). You are aware of your senses and your experience of that moment. You feel, you see, you hear, you sense, you smell and you receive intuitive messages all at the same time. We become aware how much is going on around us in each moment from both the world of physical reality and the intangible realities of energy that we cannot perceive with our 5 human senses.
Let’s do a quick exercise for you to receive a direct experience:
Close your eyes, place your awareness into your body by focusing your attention in the area of your sternum. Take three deep breaths through the nose and exhale through the mouth. With your awareness in your body, place your focus on the area below your nostrils. Notice the breath passing over this area on its way to and from your lungs. If your attention wonders into a stream of thoughts, gently bring your awareness back to the breath as it passes below the nostrils. Keep observing the breath for two minutes.
When you opened your eyes what do you observe about how you are feeling and your perception of the environment around you?
Take a moment to record what you observed. Did you perceive any differences in how you relate to your environment?
When I immerse myself in this exercise I feel an incredible amount of energy moving in the area of my sternum. When I open my eyes everything looks brighter. I see more detail in what I observe and I feel complete peace and tranquility with everything around me. I can feel myself in everything and for some moments I experience oneness with all that exists. Whatever anyone experiences during this exercise is perfect for them and every time will bring a different experience. My suggestion is to go into these exercises completely open minded without expectations on how the experience should unfold.
What happens when we live in the past & future?
When we are stuck in the prison of the mind, we live our life in the past and future. We create stories in our mind about perceptions of events we have experienced in the past and then often project these into the future. When we create an attachment or an aversion to something external to us, we often have a story that we play over and over in our mind that reinforces those beliefs.
A common fear-based belief is that it is painful to fall in love. This belief might stem from a memory of a previous rejection that left us feeling heart-broken, and has been carried forward to the present moment. The perception of what unfolded in that first experience can taint how we engage with current situations and opportunities. The result of holding onto this painful belief might lead us to not feel comfortable around people we are attracted to, or avoid going on dates. In this instance, the feeling of past rejection has power over us in the present moment, and we continue to believe the story that we are not good enough.
The judgements we buy into form the glue that keeps us stuck in the prison of the mind. These judgements generate stories based in the past or future. When we live our life in the past or future we experience fear and limitation. Feeling worried and anxious is when we are projecting our thoughts into the future whereas regret, suffering and resentment are created from living in the past. The effect is that we loose ourselves in the stories and miss all the opportunities, beauty, joy and love that is available to us in the present moment.
Why is our power in the present moment?
Our power is only available in the present moment through conscious choice. One of the gifts that we all have is free will. The deepest truth is that we can all change our reality at any moment. When we are living in an unconscious state, we often believe we have no choice and feel stuck in our circumstances. The first step to liberate ourselves from this is to become present in the “now moment” and, through awareness, choose the experience we would most love.
When we clear out the judgements, attachments and adversions that we create in our lives and start to let go of the story that our identity holds onto so tightly, we experience true freedom. As we deepen our experience of ourselves, we realize just how much is available to us in every moment. True empowerment is the realization that we are capable of creating any life we truly desire from our heart space.
Our heart space is the gateway to the infinite aspect of our being. When we are present and can access the heart space, we are able to develop a strong relationship with our higher self and can allow all the answers to flow to us with least resistance. Our only job is to get out of our own way!
How can we reclaim our power and become more aligned to our higher self? The first step is to bring all of our awareness into the present moment, and the key to this is the breath. This is because we are pure consciousness (life force energy) and we are using the physical body to have an experience. When we connect to the breath we allow ourselves to be the observer of our life, rather than feeling stuck in the stories and identifying with all that has happened to us.
Here is an easy way to come back into the present moment:
Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through the nose. Fill your lungs to full capacity and hold the breath for a second. Then force the air out through your teeth, using your stomach to push the breath out. It sounds like “TSSSSSSSS” and if you imagine an angry snake hissing, you will easily create the right sound.
The reason this exercise is so supportive, is because it will bring you back into the present moment and release any emotions you may have been holding onto.
Repeat this breathing technique three times.
How do we remain in the present moment?
Now that we are able to access the present moment, let us consider how we can sustain this state. The key is to detach from our stories and reclaim power over the thoughts we think and the emotions we feel in our body.
I will now share with you a powerful breathing technique that will support this process:
After completing the “TSSSSSSSS” breathing technique three times, close your eyes and close your mouth completely. I would suggest that you blow your nose to ensure that you have a clear breathing passage within the nose.
Take a short, sharp breath in through the nose and immediately push the breath out using the stomach to propel it. The power of this is through the stomach. Repeat these short, powerful breaths in quick succession (in-OUT, in-OUT, in-OUT, in-OUT, in-OUT) for five minutes. At the end of five minutes, use a long, relaxed outbreath to expel all of the air in your lungs. While doing this, count to 10 and place your awareness in your heart space (around the area of your sternum). Inhale a full, complete breath and hold for another 10 seconds, keeping your awareness on the heart space.
Repeat the entire cycle two times. This will take a little over 15 minutes to complete.
When considering this breathing exercise, you may experience some resistance from the mind. This exercise is actually wonderful for training the mind to focus on what you choose, rather than wandering off in all directions and disconnecting you from the present moment.
Notice what you observe as you do this breathing exercise. After completing it, notice the energy or sensations around your hands, your neck, feet and other body parts. Are you aware of thoughts and, if so, what are they?
Just as we all have a shower or bath each day, practicing and spending time being in the present moment is as essential as physical hygiene.
To highlight this point I’m going to share a story with you:
A Buddhist monk who had been practicing meditation for over 10 years participated in an experiment. The experiment involved the monk moving into a busy Western culture and not meditating for six months. At the end of the six months, the monk noticed that a significant number of thoughts began entering his consciousness and his energetic vibration dropped considerably. This occurred because the monk was not placing his focus and awareness into a meditation practice that supports a clear mind.
Many people are aware that it is important to eat a healthy diet and exercise the physical body to maximize the experience of life. Unfortunately the majority of people fail to realize that this is equally true for the mind. It is critical that the mind is trained to support our highest and best good. An untrained mind will act like a wild monkey swinging from branch to branch without any direction or focus. This creates chaos and drama.
The question to ask ourselves is “what experience do I choose to have in my life?” If you choose peace, tranquility, smooth synchronicities, passion, joy and unconditional love then one of the tasks at hand is to train the mind to focus on these positive, expansive energies. The first step in training the mind is to bring it into the present moment as much as possible. As we begin this training, a five minute meditation in the morning and evening will create substantial results after only a few weeks.
Why is this practice of meditation so important?
To answer this, I will share a personal story:
I am a healthy, physically fit person, and yet succumbed to a devastating virus that kept me in bed for a week. I was unable to do anything physical while I recovered. The only activity I was able to do was watch YouTube videos and I decided to watch “the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire”, which spanned 600 years, from 100BC to 500AD. I watched a series of 14 videos that each lasted for 45 minutes. The majority of these videos were filled with the experience of the egoistic mind in full explosive devastation: This period of time in human history was filled with war, rape, pillage, destruction, power struggles, and despots vying for control. Each subsequent generation fell for the same traps as the previous generation.
I did not realize it at the time, but my subconscious mind was filling-up with violence and negative energies. This lowered my energetic vibration and, at the end of the week, I manifested a situation where someone had stabbed a huge hole in my soft convertible car roof with a large knife. I realized that I had not been present and aware of what I was feeding my subconscious mind. The mind is an incredibly powerful tool that will manifest all sorts of things in our reality. If we are not aware of the thoughts, behaviours and actions we take, we may be in for a rude shock when reality hits us with something harsh and devastating.
Subsequently I have stopped watching violent or horror films and deliberately choose to feed my subconscious mind with loving, positive and expansive stimuli.
Let us now consider how to live our life in the present moment and enjoy all of what life has to offer.
In my experience, the choices that we made in the past reflect what we are experiencing now. The choices we make today will create our experiences in the future. In order to live a life full of joy, happiness, passion and excitement (all expressions of self acceptance), it is vitally important to be fully present. It is critical to take some time for ourselves every day and access our inner world. To close our eyes, scan and feel our body and allow ourselves to receive information and messages from the infinite aspects of our being.
In my own journey I have found that doing 10 minutes of breath work in the morning and evening, meditating, and being more aware of my body has been incredibly powerful and supportive.
Some options that are available to you are:
Meditation, yoga, connecting with people who nurture the soul with love, expressing yourself through fun and play, connecting with nature, eating healthy food, exercising, expanding and learning new things about yourself and the world, and exploring your reality in different ways.
I would also suggest that you engage with spiritual practices that support you to raise your vibration. This may include:
Reiki energy healing, intuitive dancing and singing, practices that bring out the inner child, or any other healing modality that feels right for you. Remember that everyone’s path is unique and the only person that knows what is best for you is you. Receive information from others and then ask yourself whether it is applicable for you or not.
The accumulated choices you make in your life will have a huge impact on who you become and what you create in your life. This week’s home play is to bring some awareness to all areas of your life to notice whether you tend to empower or disempower yourself in different areas of your life.
Home Play 1:
Continue to practice the daily meditation of “dropping into the gap” twice a day for a minimum of five minutes each session. Once you’ve dropped into the gap practice the TSSSSS breathing technique and the powerful short breathing meditation technique described in this week’s lesson. If you can increase the time then allow for 10 minutes for each session in the morning and evening.
Home Play 2:
Go through the following areas in your life and list three choices you make in each category. Next to each choice write down whether this choice empowers or disempowers you.
- Intimate Relationship
- Social interactions
- Spiritual understanding and expansion
- Your relationship with society
- Your hobbies and things you love to do
To discern whether something empowers or disempowers you, notice how the choice makes you feel. Do you feel expansive, excited, joyful, happy, loving and at peace within yourself or do you experience fear, resistance, anger, hatred, resentment, regret, pain, suffering? These negative qualities may also arise in the form of giving your power away to someone else in order to avoiding making decisions.
If you require support in integrating this information. If you are finding resistance in doing the exercises or require a helping hand then check out my coaching packages at: https://lionheartcoaching.com.au/coaching/
Remember that unless you actually take the steps to implement this information into who you are then your life won’t change. It takes more than just knowing information. It requires implementing and being the changes you say you wish to experience in the world.
For additional support contact me at: https://lionheartcoaching.com.au/coaching/