I am struggling to be present

My mind is racing. I’m already thinking about what I have to do at 3:00 pm today and how I can stuff more into my day or get more done. I’m already barely paying attention to writing this post, frustrated that I can’t type fast enough to get to my next task. A simple command brings me back to my own awareness.

Breathe.

My task list continues to increase in size and negative self-talk begins to consume me. I begin projecting failed projects and relationships and the world collapsing around me. I am jumping from inbox to phone to inbox to task list.

Breathe.

I’m finally starting to slow down and bring myself into the present moment. I slow my breath and watch as the nausea in my chest begins to dissipate. For the first time this morning I’m feeling like today might be manageable. Life seems to be responding.

Breathe.

The total elapsed time from start to finish of this chaos is about 3 minutes. Three of the longest and least productive minutes I hope to have today. I slowly ask the universe for guidance and focus. I slow down enough to realize that the only thing I can affect change on right now is myself.

I pause.

I clear my mind of the day. The process repeats many times as my mind can’t wait to not be here. My mind is like a three year old waiting in line to get into the zoo.

I come to the realization that I am capable of controlling my thoughts. I am not at the mercy of the voice in my head. My challenge today isn’t to control the voice, but rather engage it in productive conversation.

I can and will take steps towards rewiring my mind, and I will win!

This exercise happens daily. Sometimes it’s faster than others. Most days I gain control. Now, while I wait for my first meeting to begin, I focus on my gratitude list. This post is first on that list. The list grows with ease because it has become a habit. My mindset changes and my panic turns into relief and focus.

I move onto my spiritual list. I simply ask myself, what can the universe help me with today? I easily list my family, friends and clients. I focus on everything that was worrying me earlier and pause, again. I have learned through practice and experience that when I ask for help and guidance, I am always provided the right answer.

I have learned in life that sometimes my solutions are worse than the problems I experience in my mind. Sometimes the simple act of pausing solves the problems for me!

Breathe.

It’s amazing at how often I forget to practice this simple and automatic process.

Today’s Lesson: Nothing happens by accident. When I’m present I don’t have problems that can’t be solved.


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Michael Weinberger is the creator of APlanForLiving.com — an app based on rewiring your brain to life a more intentional, aware and grateful life. For more insights on changing your thoughts and behaviors download A Plan For Livingfrom the App or Play store.

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