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Presence

In April, I made positivity my goal. Making positivity part of my daily life has made it become more cemented in my viewpoint, though it’s still not perfect. One thing I’ve learned from yoga is that practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make what you practice more and more habitual. In her blog, Jess Lively concurs that presence can be strengthened, just the way the physical body can be strengthened, through regular use.

Because of my yoga practice, I’ve been thinking more and more about the “presence of presence” in my life. I’ve found that I have a very hard time being present, that my brain and body cannot sit still. I wanted to make “presence” my July goal.

Then, on Friday afternoon, while I was out for a walk thinking about all the things I was going to jam-pack into my weekend, I got an instant lesson in being present when my phone died. I don’t mean that it ran out of battery; my iPhone departed this earth and went to Apple heaven.

The worst habit I have is checking social media and/or texting during meal times. While I do pride myself in being able to keep my phone off the table when I’m out, at home I do sometimes sneak a peak (or two) at Instagram during breakfast with my husband. This is one of the things I planned to work on next month.

It turned out that not having a phone over the weekend wasn’t so bad. While watching World Cup games with friends, I truly appreciated their company. At a friend’s wedding, I wasn’t focused on getting the best picture for Instagram, but rather listened to the ceremony and enjoyed celebrating with other guests. It was the same on a hiking trip with my husband; for all 13.4 miles of the Siltstone Trail, I viewed nature not through the lens of a camera, but with my own eyes.

We did take a few photos at the end to prove our endeavor
We did take a few photos at the end to prove our endeavor. Can you blame us?

After our wonderful but exhausting hike, one to cross of the bucket list, my husband and I celebrated with dinner at Impellizzeri’s Pizza, said to be the best pizza in Kentucky and right in our part of town (as a Chicagoland-bred pizza snob, I can say it’s the best pizza I’ve had outside Illinois.) When our waitress was surprised at how much pizza we ate, we told her about our hike. “Being out in nature is one of my favorite things,” she said, “It’s one of the only times you can really be in the present moment.”

There’s no time like the present. The universe commanded that I begin my mindfulness now rather than later, for which I’m actually grateful. It reminds me that life shifts don’t happen on a monthly schedule, but can happen every day, every moment.

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