Monday, February 11, 2013

Motivational Monday: Be Present


I was browsing Pinterest (surprise, surprise) and came across this motivational quote by Jim Elliot: "Wherever you are, be all there."  It seems deceptively simple.  I mean if I'm here, how can I be somewhere else at the same time?  The true meaning behind this quote stems from a concept many of us aren't fully comfortable with (or at least I'm not)... the concept of being in the now.  Being physically engaged in a situation is much different than being mentally engaged in a situation.


Personally, my mind constantly wanders to thoughts of the past or future.  I'm always criticizing myself for what I should have done differently or looking ahead to "once I ___, then I'll ___."  My mind has become a dumping ground of never ending to-do lists, catchy lyrics, and overly critical analyses of EVERYTHING.


A therapist once explained the importance of "being present." This idea really resonated with me.  She referenced me to some scholarly papers, but of course I can't find them right now.  Anyway, here are some of the benefits I can recall:
  • You are able to achieve a higher level of success by more effectively accomplishing your goals
  • Less depression (backwards thinking) and/or anxiety (forward looking)... translates to increased general happiness
  • Recent studies show that being present helps lower your chances of developing alzheimers later in life.  Although it is a relatively new study, scientific evidence suggests that being self-aware prolongs the onset of dementia.
  • You can recognize your needs better, and then more effectively address those needs (i.e. helps reduce mindless eating)


So sure, being present is beneficial, but how do we put it into practice?  The answer: by consciously being aware of yourself and your surroundings.  Pshh easier said than done.  However, it's not impossible.  Every day take a few seconds to be aware of what's around you; Not just recognizing it, but engaging in it to be really aware.  Notice the feeling of the keyboard on your fingers as you type, the breeze against your skin as you walk, and the taste of your food as you eat.  As you engage your senses, you will naturally become more self-aware.  Eventually, it will become habit (or at least that's what they say....)

Now it's time for me to practice what I preach... Wish me luck!

P.S. I'm excited to announce that I've linked up with Amber from Living in the Moment for this post.  Hopefully my first link up of many!


  1. I love this post! I always feel when I'm focusing on the here and now I am much more content with myself and I don't have any anxiety. I want to work on being the best of myself in this moment in time, we can't do much about the past. Thanks for sharing this!


  2. Great post!! I was thinking about how a lot of people will be texting or on twitter when hanging out with friends so they are there physically but not mentally, they are with other people.

  3. Love this post - great reminder for the start of the week. So glad you're back!

  4. This is something I need to be aware of. So many times I am "present" but my mind is not completely there. I think it goes back to a lot of my post today about "settling"

    Great post! Thanks for linking up. Looking forward to future Motivational Monday posts from you

  5. I am a strong believer in this and attempt to remind myself to be present whenever I can. It's not easy but once you are aware that you should, it becomes easier and your life really does become more positive. :) Meditation is also an excellent way to really get in the practice of being present. Excellent post, I'm pinning this. :)

  6. CUTE blog!! Love this post!



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