Posts Tagged ‘Being Present’

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, tis the season for gratitude. However, while I am grateful for so many of the small and simple things in life, I thought I would turn the season on its head and challenge you to think differently.


This Thanksgiving, I want to know what are you UNgrateful for?


I know. A bit of a harsh question, but a very valuable one nonetheless.


Take a moment to think about all the things in your life that you are UNgrateful for. Those things that you have been tolerating and don’t like. I challenge you to take a look at your life and determine all those things that aren’t working for you.


Then, I challenge you to eliminate them. Or fix them. Whether it is that rattle in your car, that chore at home that needs to be completed, the friendship that no longer serves you, that unresolved conversation, or that decision you have repeatedly delayed.


Tolerations kill us! They suck our energy and don’t allow us to be present. They constantly nag us and tug at our subconscious, reminding us that something needs to be done. And until we tend to that toleration, we can never be at peace.


And isn’t that what the upcoming holidays are about – finding peace in our lives and being present to all we love? Being present to and grateful for all the untold blessings we have in our lives?


This holiday season, I challenge you to find at least one toleration in your life that prevents you from being eternally grateful for all you have, and once you have identified it, eliminate it. In doing so, you will be amazed at how much more space you have in your life for joy, love and a sense of peace


The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it.

– Alan Saporta


Getting rid of tolerations is simple math – addition by subtraction, as they say. Getting rid of what we don’t want in our lives provides the space for what we do want. The act of clearing allows us to feel more free, more at ease, and more at peace.


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About a month ago I had lunch with a friend and witnessed an unbelievable transformation occur before my very eyes.  For the most part, it was a delightful lunch filled with great conversation, laughter, an exploration of life and self, and some tasty food.  But then it happened.
She received a text message on her cell phone. 
Her attention was immediately drawn away from our connection and conversation and was now being split.  Ultimately, the cell phone won out as she proceeded to respond to the immediacy of the text.
Considering the possibility that perhaps this was an emergency, I allowed some space for her to respond.  In the meantime, however, I thought I would get myself some water.  And, being the kind person that I am, I asked if she would like a glass as well.
No response.  In that instantaneous moment, it was as if I was vaporized from the planet and disappeared. 
I actually found this amusing and decided to have a bit of fun with her distracted state.  I next asked, “I’m going to strip naked and grab some mustard.  Would you like me to pour it on you?”  Still no response. 
Now, before you judge this person, I ask you to examine your own life and behavior and see if you have ever found yourself torn away from those you are currently with to respond to your cell phone or hand-held device.
The irony of this situation is that one of the things my friend is working on is to be more present.  I proceeded to take out my own hand-held device – a pen and a piece of paper – and wrote a message for her.
“You cannot be present to the moment until you are in the moment.”
The more I thought about this, the more I realized how our current technology and multi-tasking tendencies rip us away from the beauty and peace of the moment.  They rip us from the gifts and connections to our loved ones.  They steal our opportunity to be present to the miracles of life.
With that in mind, I invite you to put down your cell phone and be more present with those you are with.  Rather than being with your machines, be with the people around you, nature, your thought or the moment.  Be fully present to all that is around you.   

Men have become the tools of their tools.
                                   –  Henry David Thoreau 

I am continually amazed at how distracted we are in life.  It seems that with each passing year we are given more technological tools to stay connected.  Yet, the irony of that is the more “connected” we are, the less connected we seem to be.   


Leave a comment below sharing a story you experienced where a friend or loved one vaporized you from the planet as they became absorbed in their cell phone or hand-held device and became disconnected from you and life.


Photo Credit: Kristin Murphy/Desert News/AP

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It was Christmas Eve morning and the sun was just breaking the horizon, lighting the sky from a deep purple to its first hints of turquoise.  The last stars of the night twinkled their good-bye, winking at me. 
I was excited to put the finishing touches on January’s newsletter that I had written a few weeks earlier.  I sat at my laptop, plugged in my flash drive, but failed to hear the familiar “ding” telling me the computer recognized the new drive.  I took it out and tried again with no better results.  In a panic, I turned on my other computer and tried it there with the same deaf response.  No “ding” of recognition.
I am not a materialistic man.  I have little in my apartment and if I am attached to anything in life they are the invisible things you cannot touch – love; friendship; laughter; the company and conversation at a good meal.  As a writer, however, my words are my treasure.  Thousands and thousands and thousands of words I have written over the years capturing my thoughts, my emotions, my heart.  All of which are now trapped on the inaccessible flash drive.
For a moment, I cannot breathe.  A wave of fear rushes through me and settles in my stomach, as if I have just been kicked there during a horrible fight.  I repeat the process of sticking the flash drive in and out of the computer at least 20 times.  Nothing.  I stare at the computer screen blankly, pleading with it to ding and tell me it has found my files – found my life – on the flash drive.  
My heart sinks and all I feel like doing is crying.  I am attached to my words, and now they are gone.  I take a long hot shower, letting the water run over me as I ponder the loss.  I follow this by sitting in the warm sun, meditating and grounding myself in my new reality.
I am now challenged to live some of the principles I teach in my coaching.  Life is not what happens to us, but rather how we respond to what happens to us.  If I stay attached to my words, yearning for them to somehow magically return, I am promised a life of misery and regret.  I will be left suffering and stuck in a place that will deny me the ability to welcome in all the future gifts that await me.  Life is very much like a never-ending wellspring, pouring forth new gifts, and in my case new words, everyday.  To spend too much time looking longingly at the past, wishing for those words to return, is to admit that the power and creativity within me is limited.  And it is not.  Not for any of us.
The Universe wants to give us all we desire.  And it wants to give it to us on a silver platter.  But if the table before us is cluttered and full, it has no place to set down the platter of gifts.  I ponder this principle and realize the key ingredient to living it . . .  trust.  My table has just been swiped clean in one quick motion, like an arm sweeping across a dinner table scattering the dishes and glasses on the floor.
As I sit before my computer, I can only wonder what new gift of words awaits me at my now barren, clutter-free table.  I trust that they will be magnificent as I stare at my past trapped in the flash drive, close my eyes, and leap into the future of the blank computer screen.


When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
                                                                             –  Alexander Graham Bell 

If you so choose, each new year is an opportunity to sweep your table clear and welcome in the new gifts the Universe wishes to give you.  The trick, of course, is not to be attached to what you had in the past or to the outcome of the future.  If you can manage to live in the freedom of the present, trusting in the moment, and trusting that what you desire in your heart will be manifested, the life you desire will suddenly appear before you. 

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