This post is dedicated to the late Baba Ram Dass. He passed away on Sunday and I am still trying to find the right words that properly encapsulate the feeling when a teacher as globally impactful as Ram Dass passes. The spiritual world can never be ready for a loss like this. I live my life today, as so many others do, always bringing myself back to the “now”. This all stems back to his teachings and his learnings from his teachers and teacher’s teachers back to the beginning of time.
It’s simple…the “now”…yet can also feel unbearably complex. What drives this complexity? Most likely our “humanism”. We are always seeking and searching for the “it”. That thing that will solve all of our problems and bring us happiness and peace. Be it a god or a deity or money or love…always looking ahead for what “it” is. I feel that we spend so much of our time looking right past “it”. Ram Dass speaks very intentionally and in great detail in his teachings of the “now”. The “now” and “loving awareness”. The true gifts of life. The answer to almost all challenges in life is that simple. Be. Here. Now. Learn to live with loving awareness and be in the present moment. It’s all we have – it’s all we’ll ever have. Living in the past or the future only brings on depression and anxiety – and unfortunately, that is where we spend so much of our time.
Here. Now. Here. Now. Here. Now. That is the gift. Can you find a way to see where you are in this present moment as a gift? Your heart is beating…right now. Your lungs are filling and emptying…right now. Your eyes are opening and closing and focusing…right now. There are objects in front of you to discover and unpack with your eyes. Look at them. See them. Can you see them? There is beauty and wonder to be found in everything we see. There is something to smell where you are. Can you smell it? Is it simply the air around you? Your coffee cup? The scent of your office? A candle? It’s brilliant, isn’t it? Our senses? They bring us into the now. The now is all we’re guaranteed, so why not build habits to keep bringing you back here? Tomorrow will come, but don’t let it rob you of today. This moment. It’s here. Right now.
Breathe. It. In.
I have been working on this for several years now, and the idea is simple, but it takes daily, hourly, minute-to-minute dedication. Being present needs to be your number one priority. Do you want to feel your best? Do you want relief from anxious thoughts? Give the below exercises a try:
1. Engage your senses:
BE in this moment and use your senses to get you there. Find something in this moment using all 5senses. What can you see, touch, taste, smell and hear? Find all 5 things – they always exist and they are all happening…now. There you are! Back in the now. Good job.
2. 4-7-8 Breathwork
I call this method the “Stop, Drop (in/inward) and Breathe” exercise or SDB. Repeat this as many times throughout the day as you need to keep bringing yourself back to the present. No one has to know you’re doing it – you can do this anywhere, anytime – day or night. It is guaranteed to bring some immediate relief.
- Sit up with a lengthened but comfortable spine, shoulders up and back and belly soft
- Empty out your lungs – all the way.
- Now breathe in to the count of 4 from the very bottom of your abdomen filling bit by bit to the top of your chests so that your chest is inflated and your belly is full
- Now hold your breath for 7 seconds at the top
- Now breathe out slowly for 8 seconds releasing the air from the top of your lungs down to your belly, squeezing your belly up and in at the bottom of the exhale
- Repeat 2-5 more times (start with 3 and increase over time)
3. Essential Oil 9-1-1!
Keep a small, pocket-sized roller ball bottle with some carrier oil (like grapeseed/rosehip) and 8-10 or so drops of lavender oil. (You can get all of these things on Amazon or if you’re coming to my seminar on January 11th, you’ll be getting one :)). This is great for the SMELL sense when you’re feeling anxious and needing to find the present. Roll a little right under your nose and/or on your wrists and breathe in and out a few times inhaling the scent. You can use this with SDB, too.
Now it’s time to add a little love back into your life. Self-love, that is. SDB brings you back here to the present. Back home to where you are. Guess what also lives in this present moment within you? Yep, you got it. Your sweet, little, hard-working-all-day-and-night heart. Let’s drop in there now, too.
After you finish SDB, use the mantra from the late Ram Dass “I am loving awareness”. Keep repeating this in your head or out loud if you are able for at least a minute or two and associate a feeling of deep love for yourself simultaneously. If you can’t think of or associate a time when you had deep love for yourself, then for now think of a person or a time when you felt deep love by or for someone else – this could be a parent, child, friend, family-member, pet, spouse, partner etc. The point right now is to evoke the feeling of pure, true, deep love.
Use tips 2 – 4 simultaneously once you have them all down independently. If you mix the breathing with a mantra and the essential oils, you will be giving yourself a super cleansing treat! Your entire nervous system will thank you!
We’re all pure love at the core of our hearts and we can get back to that anytime we want to. Regardless of the life that has happened tous or as a result of us…there is healing available toallof us. And we ALLneed it. It’s called grace – give a little to yourself. Daily.
Bring a little SDB and loving awareness into your day, every day. Teach these techniques to your children, your friends, your family. The world needs more present, loving people within it and you owe this kindness to yourself.
How will you choose to be…here…now?
As always, love always wins…
Becky…with the Good Life