A More Present 2019

Posted by Courtney Macdougall on

New Year's Resolutions!

What does a resolution even mean? We see it as an opportunity to set an intention for the year, to wake up to our lives instead of just letting them pass by.

Some of the common resolutions we all have set at some time:

     - Body: go to the gym more, lose weight, eat better.

     - Finances: make a budget, spend less, make more, spend smarter.

     - Spend more time with family, have deeper relationships.

     - Read more books, take more trips, go outside more.

Instead of these specific resolutions, what if we made one all-encompassing resolution? A resolution to be more present in every moment of our lives.

This idea is inspired by a few of our favourite books: The Power of Now, The Untethered Soul, and A New Earth.

To us, being present means being clear of mind – not being completely caught up in our thoughts to the point that we aren’t even there anymore. Most of us, in each moment, are either fixated on the past or worrying/planning/stressing about the future.  

Instead, what if we made a pact to not get so involved in these past/future thoughts? What if we just watched the thoughts come up and decided whether or not we want to get wrapped up in them? What if we could evaluate each thought with:

     - Is this helpful?

     - Is this real?

     - Is this important?

For most of our thoughts, (when we observe them from a detached perspective) the answer to these questions will be ‘no’. Most of the time, the stresses or stories in our head are random, negative, overdramatic, unimportant thoughts that take us away from experiencing the LIFE in front of us.

For example: usually, when we're having a conversation:

     - We're interpreting what a person is trying to say before the sentence is even over.

     - We’re concocting our response instead of listening to what they're saying.

Instead, what if we listened to each word that a person was saying (one word at a time) without completing the sentence in our head and pre-formulating a response? To be really there, instead of lost in our own thoughts. 

Our resolution is to take this idea of presence into every area of our lives.

Some everyday ways we're going to try this:

     - Feel the water running over hands when we’re washing dishes.

     - Truly savor the taste and texture of every bite of food.

     - Notice the feel of the steering wheel under our hands and gas pedal under our feet.

     - Really look at a tree – the grooves in the bark, the angles of the branches.

     - Stop and watch a bird fly around in circles and just marvel at that magic of them.

These are all ways to make every moment of life deeper and more meaningful. To actually live our life, instead of living our mind.

And if you look deeper, this is a way to resolve all of those external concerns we listed at the beginning:

  • You will eat better when you are consciously eating, tasting, and noticing how you feel while eating your food.
  • Your workouts will be more effective if you are being present – paying attention to each movement, feeling the mind-muscle connection.
  • Your work will be more impactful when you are focusing on each task in front of you instead of worrying about the hundred other things that your mind can get caught up in.
  • Your relationships will deepen as you truly listen to your family, your friends, and your partner. You will have more meaningful experiences with everyone as you allow yourself to be fully there, and not caught up in your mind. 

Our other resolution is to have ultimate compassion for ourselves when we don’t manage to do any of this. When we do get completely wrapped up in our minds, have a panic attack about the future, overreact to a situation, or are just totally distracted. 

All the love, laughter, and presence to you, Pluminati!

Have a beautiful 2019.

- The Plume Team

mindfulness

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