Learning about the Present
I often come here to my blog, various Word documents on my computer or my journal so I can write about my experiences and reflect on how they impact me. At this current time in my life, I am in a bit of an in-between. I’ve just graduated college, I don’t have a job (though I’m very okay with that at the moment) and I have more time on my hands than I know what to do with. As someone who spent so much time on a schedule through college, this is a little weird.
I ran this morning using a guided run on the Nike running app. It was my first time doing a Headspace guided run. It was narrated by Coach Chris Bennett and the co-founder of Headspace Andy Puddicombe. They spoke about being in the present - how to use the current moment to grow now. Here are some of my takeaways:
You can run the same trail or the same pace over and over, but that’s a new experience. You don’t truly get a do-over in anything in life, and that’s the gift. And because it’s a mental game too, it’s always about more than running. We don’t get to live today again, so it’s a crime against ourselves not to enjoy it when we can.
Calm, clarity, contentment and compassion. Andy Puddicombe used these four words to describe the present moment. Use these guiding words to be more within yourself.
With no noise to pull us backwards to the past and forward into future plans, we are calm. Our mind is not bogged down with old thoughts or future obligations - so we can find clarity. We are able to feel content with our current place, and lastly, we can feel compassion for others because of everything that came before this. Essentially, we remove the noise of the past and future to create a fuller, more whole present.
I really liked this statement because I am very much a planner. I get excited about future plans. I think about possibilities. I set goals, and I dream of achieving them. I also get freaked out about the unknown.
I was excited to hear that you can be excited about the future and still be mindful of the present. Instead of getting worked up about the future and ruining the present moment, use your calm thoughts and mindfulness to reel yourself back in. Understand that there is nothing you can do to fast forward the present moment, so sit with that in a calm state.
One last thought - and this one is my favorite from the whole run. He mentioned that they made this into a graphic for the Headspace app (I couldn’t manage to find it). Essentially, this is saying that we cannot move wholeheartedly into the future if there is something tying us to the past. We want to go explore the vast ocean and all its possibilities, but to keep your head above water, you’ve got to stay in the present.
Okay, so I’m not a Tibetan monk like Andy Puddicombe (how cool is that?), but I am working on using my free time to pursue a better version of myself. Right now, I have more time than I will ever have again. My goal is to use that time to learn, grow and share some of it with you on this page.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you learned something new today too.
Photo: Austin Graffiti Park