Be Present

JENNIFER BILBREY, LPC AUSTIN, TEXASInspiration for Your New Year
#2 – Be Present.

You may show up to things regularly but then check out once you’re there. Unfortunately, there are so many ways we can check out – our phones, TV, the Internet, eating too much, drinking too much, shopping – the list is so long! So I go to the yoga class but the entire time I’m thinking, “I can’t wait for this to be over. When I get home I’m going watch more of the Leah Remini show. And then…And then…And then…”

To just be present – be present with whatever we’re feeling and thinking is so much harder than it sounds. And in my opinion it’s hard mostly because we’re avoiding our feelings – not our thoughts.

Four of the basic emotions are mad, sad, glad, and scared. So it’s helpful to ask when you notice yourself checking out – what am I feeling? And what feeling am I trying to avoid?

Doing this exercise also helps us build our observing ego – the part of us that can pull the camera back and look at our behaviors and ourselves. In the yoga class example above, I may be avoiding feelings of sadness because I’m comparing myself to others and not measuring up. I may be avoiding feelings of frustration because starting any new exercise program that our bodies aren’t used to is difficult. It’s difficult to be a beginner in a culture that expects us to be perfect at everything all the time!

But, if we can validate this feeling in ourselves without minimizing it or making ourselves wrong for it, we have a chance to help ourselves with it. So instead of telling yourself, “Hey just get over it. You’re being a baby. Suck it up” try saying “It IS hard to start a new yoga practice! I feel frustrated that I don’t know what I’m doing and others in the class seem to know – and that IS difficult. But thank you self for trying and for showing up in the first place.” With that kind of internal talk, you’re much more likely to be present with the class!

If you’d like to get more help, call me.

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