Being Present: Peaceful and Alive, or Boring for You?By Dr. Margaret Paul
June 10, 2019
Do you find that being in this present moment lacks the drama of anxiety? Discover what creates the aliveness and joy of being in this present moment.
I had been working with Rosemary for a few weeks regarding her anxiety. She had lived most of her life with fairly intense anxiety and now, at 43, she wanted to feel some inner peace.
In the previous session we had worked on the fact that her anxiety is often caused by her ego wounded critical voice that often obsesses on the past - on what she "should" have said or done differently – and then she projects into the future with thoughts about all the bad things that could happen. I suggested that she practice being more mindful - staying more in this present moment, choosing to be conscious of her feelings and of the guidance from her higher self, as well as of what is going on around her.
"Rosemary, how did you do this week with staying more in the present?"
"I think I did well. I wasn't nearly as anxious, but I'm finding that being in the present is boring."
Boring! That is the last thing that I experience when I'm in the present moment!
The problem was that Rosemary had never cultivated her passions, her gifts and talents - the things that would bring her joy. And she had never cultivated her spiritual connection - connection to love, joy, and creativity. And she had never spent much time in gratitude, and so had never experienced the aliveness and fullness of heart that comes with gratitude. For her, after all the drama of anxiety, being present felt empty and boring.
When I’m in the present moment, the moment is filled with light, joy, freedom, aliveness, and a profusion of creative ideas that stem from my passions and my sense of purpose. Spirit fills my heart with so much love that I think my heart will burst with it! It’s anything but boring!
Rosemary had spent her life pleasing other people rather than pleasing herself, so she had little idea about what would bring her joy.
"Rosemary, please go inside, breathing into your feelings. Ask your inner child what she would love to do this coming weekend."
"I know exactly what she wants to do. She wants to go skiing and she wants me to find her a ceramic class."
"How long since you've been skiing?"
"Oh, it's been at least 10 years. I have a voice in me that keeps telling me that it's too expensive."
"How long have you wanted to learn to make pots?"
"Since high school."
"Rosemary, are there expenses you can cut out to have the money to ski and learn to pot?"
"Yes, there are, but my critical voice is telling me that doing these things is self-indulgent."
Rosemary had been keeping a lid on the things that would bring her joy for many years, so when she was present in the moment, there was no feeling of aliveness and creativity.
I worked with Rosemary to start to listen to her higher voice rather than her critical, controlling voice.
It took a few weeks, but finally she went skiing and started a ceramics class. She started to feel some aliveness for the first time in her life. As she continued to open to her passions, a new sense of purpose started to emerge. Rosemary had been stuck in a job that got her by, but it wasn't work she was passionate about. The thing that she knew she was very talented in was in interior design. She loved creating beautiful interiors, and had done it for herself and friends for years, but never professionally.
By opening to her passion and sense of purpose, and to her higher voice with gratitude and a desire to learn, she finally gained the courage to do the work she always wanted to do.
Now, being present is no longer boring for Rosemary. Now she feels the joy of tuning into her creative flow and supporting others in creating beautiful environments that feed their souls.
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What is your first reaction when someone is harsh, critical, sarcastic, angry, judgmental, attacking? Do you attack back? Do you withdraw and get silent? Do you defend and explain? Today, honor the feeling in your body that says "This doesn't feel good" and either speak your truth without blame, defense or judgment and open to learning, or lovingly disengage and compassionately take care of your feelings.
By Dr. Margaret Paul