“I’m here, in this, right now.”
The month of December can be one loaded with fond memories of a gleeful childhood, or can bring up difficult memories of times some would rather forget. The holiday season comes with lots of figurative and literal baggage. December’s abundant socializing, gift buying, expectations and deadlines (as in the 25th). December can be a month filled with more emotional highs and lows than the twelve days of Christmas.
Whether you are someone who sees the holiday season as a count down to dooms day or you have set your morning alarm to Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas”, one thing we can all benefit from is more presence, not presents.
A wonderful Shaman has helped me work through some difficult times by using the mantra, “I’m here, in this, right now” Whether it’s line-ups at the mall, a dreaded holiday gathering that brings up all of one’s social anxieties, or curling up with a book by the fire, being aware of our experiences can open up to a shift and a surrender to what is. When I’m in a situation I want to run from IF I can get present and take a breath, and can acknowledge this is where I am RIGHT NOW, it tends to connect me to myself rather than what’s going on around me. The “I’m here in this right now” offers some grounding, and recognition that we won’t be in this circumstance forever. Everything is continuously changing; it is one universal principal we know to be true.
The mantra “I’m here, in this, right now “ also reminds us to give those people around us our attention, so that we are not wishing we were somewhere else and missing out on potentially profound connections that are happening right NOW! This mantra works both in the pleasant times and the more challenging ones. I encourage you to use it freely for this month. Maybe write it down and post-it throughout your home, in your car, throw it in the pocket of some jackets or pants as reminders….it’s more valuable than finding forgotten money in a pocket. Think of it as your Christmas gift to yourself; more grounding, more presence of mind, body and spirit.
Ways to live the mantra:
- Three times a day remind yourself to stop, notice something you can see, touch and smell simultaneously and repeat the mantra.
- Start noticing and repeating this mantra when doing more mundane tasks like brushing your teeth, this practice will make it easier to access when you find yourself challenged by life.
- Watch animals; they are never planning, reminiscing, or daydreaming. They are in the moment always. Let them be a reminder to be present.
- Put away your phone. Disconnect from your device so you can connect with what’s happening right in front of you.
- Sync the mantra with your breath. Inhale with “I’m here”, hold the breath with “in this”, and exhale with “right now”.
- Really notice when things are good. Relish the present moment.
- Savour your food. Enjoy each bite, and try not to multitask when you are eating.
- Make eye contact when having a conversation, and practice listening fully.
- Go for a walk and enjoy the sights, smells and sensations of your world.
Written by Nicole Whitman.