From Overwhelm to Presence in One Minute

Again and again, I ask moms, professionals, leaders and caretakers around me, "what do you wish you had that you don’t right now?" and always the answer is PRESENCE.

We have the ability to be and do so much as women.  People have worked hard to earn us the rights that we now have.  We are so blessed to live in a time where we can go to work and work for an equal wage, where we can vote and voice our opinions.  Where we can be leaders.

The thing is, we haven’t dropped any of our other roles as we’ve taken on these new ones.  So now, we’re juggling EVERYTHING.  We’re mama, homemaker, hearth maker, professional, leader, teacher, caregiver, student.  We’re planners, community members, volunteers, school coordinator, chef.  We’re everything to everyone.

And when we can’t keep up with it all.  The inner perfectionist shows up to point out how we were late or how we don’t have the right art supplies for our kid.  Or the inner control freak shows up to point out how our home is a mess and we’re not making as much money as we “should” be.

So it’s really is no wonder why presence is lacking in the lives of so many women right now.

It's no wonder why when we’re with our kids we’re thinking about work and dinner and laundry and when we’re at work we’re thinking about what snack we’ll bring our kid, the bills and the what time we need to get on to the next thing.

Yeah, presence has gotten harder to come by.

Here are some simple one minute exercises to help you cultivate presence NOW.

Each idea belows requires you to set your timer for just one minute and practice.  Pick just one you want to try today:

1.  Go outside and turn on all of your senses.  See how much you can hear and how much you can see and how much you can smell.  For that one minute, fully engage in the totality of being outside with your senses turned on.

2.  For one minute feel your feet on the ground.  Feel into the sensation of your feet on the ground.  Feel your hands.  Feel the connection point of whatever they are touching.  Feel your clothes on your skin.  Actually feel the point where they touch you and do nothing more than experience the sensation of it.  Feel these sensations for one minute.

3.  Imagine you are sitting by a river.  Take one thought that you notice you are thinking and imagine yourself tossing it gently in the river.  Imagine it slowly drifting down stream.  If you can’t let that thought go, start counting out the paces as you imagine it floating down the river, 1……2……..3…….4.  For each thought that you can catch within your timed minute, toss it into the river too.

Are you willing to set your timer for one minute and practice presence?  Everything we do is a practice.  Each moment you practice adds on to the last.  If you do one minute each day, you've suddenly been present for seven minutes this week and almost a half an hour this month!

From these practices, we feel less scattered, less stressed, less frenzied.  Our days feel less pressured, less rushed.  We remember to use these tools when the going gets rough.  They're right there in our back pocket, a one minute way to find ourselves in the midst of our very full plates.

I’d love to hear from you about which of the one minute practices you tried and how it went.