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Staying Present – Living Life Purposefully

“The past and future are in the mind only – I am now” – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Living consciously is something everyone strives to do. With the new age movement of meditation, yoga, and eastern medicine. Most are aware of what it means to live life presently, although, most don’t actually do it. Being lost in past memories, or the excitement of the future can plague us of the very moment we actually have control over. The Present. While it’s easier said than done, there are some simple steps you can take to become more mindful and essentially ease stress of day to day life.

Meditation can seem intimidating. Being completely consumed in thoughts is a daily practice for most and turning off the ‘Monkey Mind’ is an extremely difficult thing to do. Some people think shutting off the mind does a disservice. The beautiful thing about meditation is, it’s not asking you to shut off your mind, rather observe it and let the thoughts come like waves on a shore. There are many studies that meditation reduces pain, insomnia, PMS and increases relaxation, and focus for students.

There are different types of meditation that can be fun, and you can do them just about anywhere!

-Breathing techniques: Breathing techniques are great for quick meditations at anytime of the day. When you focus on your breath, you put yourself in the present moment. When you start focusing on breathing and the sensations throughout your body you quickly learn that it’s easier to let the thoughts melt away. Take a few deep breaths and start to bring your awareness to everything around you such as sound and scents, reverse the process and bring your awareness back to your breath. Doing this for 10 minutes a day can definitely change your life.

-Guided Meditations: Guided meditations are usually with someone specifically trained in healing’s and meditations. You can find thousands of resources online and apps that will allow you to focus on a certain topic of mediation such as love, anxiety, relationships and more. Some of my favorite apps include Aura & Headspace.

-Mantras: probably my favorite type of meditation are mantras. You usually meditate with a 108 beaded mala that you begin moving through your thumb and middle finger. You can choose any mantra that fits well to you. You can chant a mantra in either the sacred language of Sanskirt or English but do whatever you’re comfortable with. Choosing your mala is your first step. Choose something that calls to you. There are plenty of online stores or local stores such as Dancing Crane you can shop from. Begin your meditation by starting on the left side of the mala and continue to repeat your mantra til you get through all 108 beads, instead of crossing the big bead, also known as the guru bead, at the end near the tassel turn back around and complete the mantra in opposite direction. You can do any mantra from “I am beautiful” to “I am enough” which is great for a starting meditation.

-Become the watcher: Start observing your thoughts and feelings in every interaction. Even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, you can start to see what things cause distress or what is working for you. The key for this meditation is observe and not judge. Watching without judgement even is difficult for me and it takes practice just like anything. Once you start getting use to observing, you’ll start seeing a shift in awareness.

Meditation has done wonders for emotional and physical health for not only myself but thousands of generations. For me, it has allowed me to gain a better sense of myself and able to work through what life deals me if it’s difficult. Hopefully these meditation techniques find a way into your daily life. Even for just a brief moment, each person deserves a purposeful and happy life!