It’s something we’ve all heard countless times—from yoga instructors, friends, parents, and even in lyrics of songs: “Be present,” or (its sister saying): “Live in the moment.” This quest to be present in our lives seems like a loaded task, but is it really?
We spend a lot of our time caught up in the storm of our thoughts, drifting through clouds of our subconscious. Of course we think we’re focused on the task at hand when in actuality we’re running through the laundry list of things we’ve got to do, loftily dreaming of places we’d rather be, or just simply drifting off. How many times have you driven home from work and made it more than half the way without even realizing it? Those past 15 minutes were a blur. You’ve zoned—on autopilot. The mind wanders and you seamlessly wander with it.
How do we break this cycle of drifting out of the present moment and into our own heads? “Notice what you notice,” Mas Sajady says. It’s really that simple and that difficult, all in one. Mas admits, in the video below, “It probably will be one of the hardest things that you’ve ever tried.”
Living in the moment—being present—does not translate to pursuing activities that are justified by saying #YOLO. Neither does it mean that you’ve got to sit in a quiet room meditating on the meaning of presence. That is to say, the action of simply doing something “in the moment” is not the same as being in the moment. It starts with awareness. Mas believes that being in the moment is to be conscious of the way your body is moving: noticing the hand gestures you make as you speak, the motions of folding laundry, washing dishes.
Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, be all there.
Maggie Peikon is a New York native, writer, and sufferer of insatiable wanderlust. An avid endorphin seeker she has a constant need to be moving, seeking adventure in all she does. She is a lover of travel, daydreaming, fitness, thunderstorms, and her dog, Finley. Despite the fact that she has to take medication daily due to a thyroidectomy, Maggie still believes that laughter will always be the best medicine. Follow her musings on Instagram and Twitter.