Secrets of Magic No 37: Be present

Many spiritual disciplines teach us that living in the present is a source of great calm and peace. Much of our emotional misery stems from focusing on the past or anticipating the future. When we bring our awareness to this exact place, this exact moment, we can leave behind the pain of the past and the fear of the future.

It is a great joy to come to our senses. Being present means looking through our eyes, hearing with our ears, feeling what is happening with the body right now. We tune into the beauty of the world and our enjoyment of being embodied.

The world presents so much information to us that we normally screen out almost all of it. We are so used to doing this that we are completely unconscious of this process. When we shift our awareness to what is going on around us right now, it can feel as if we are being swept away in a stream. It’s hard to grasp the totality of our immediate experience. We find consciousness shifting from one sound to another, narrowing down to one thing in our field of vision, noticing the temperature of the room without being aware of the tension in our shoulders.

We may find that there is something in our immediate experience that is very difficult for us to handle. We may be carrying physical pain, or be limited in movement, or living with a nearly intolerable stressor. (If the stressor in your life threatens your health or safety, look at the section on emergency help.)

Breathing exercises can help us handle immediate discomfort. Breathe deeply, expanding your diaphragm and filling your lungs. Now exhale deeply, breathing out the pain and stress. Inhale again, breathing in white light and comfort which fills your entire body.

When we are truly present, we notice many things that had previously escaped our attention. We really see the people around us. We tune into the energy that surrounds us. The entire world can seem brighter and sharper, filled with a new light and energy. Being present helps us to focus. It is one of the great sources of our power.

Affirmation
I move my awareness to the present at any time I desire.

Practice: Be in the now

Wherever you are right now, check out your environment. How many colors do you see? How many sounds can you hear? What is your body doing right now?

Practice coming to your senses every day for a week. You can write a journal entry about what you experience.

This seemingly simple practice is one of the hardest secrets to master. We come back to it over and over in our magical lives.

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