This is the statement from one of my boys, feeling particularly bad about losing an “item” last week. My response:  “Sometimes I think you lose things because you’re not present.”  I know what I’m talking about here — I’ve not been present for weeks.

Last week I went to the grocery store for two items.  I had them on a post it on the back of my phone, “just in case” I forgot them.  What did I do?  I forgot to look at the phone.  I forgot the items.  And, I forgot them the next three times I went to the store.  Why?  I’m not present.  I’m thinking about a million things — other than the task at hand.

How many times have you sat down to read something, only to realize that you don’t remember the last page because you were preoccupied with your thoughts?  Or, you drove somewhere only to notice that you can’t recall actually driving there?

The act of taking control of our thinking and our internal dialog is what allows us to be present and stay in the moment.  Let’s remember that we don’t need to be present every moment of every day.  And, we’re never going to stop our minds from wandering.  So, let’s not set ourselves up for that expectation.

We’re busy. We live with an amount of activity that would make our grandparents’ eyes roll back into their heads.  We travel more miles in a week than they would in a year. Unfortunately we often lose ourselves in the busyness of our lives.  We miss our priorities (and our s*** at the grocery store).

I think we (I) need a few “mantras” to be present this week:

1. “My life is perfect just the way it is.”  It requires no improvement.  I’m ok – I’m better than ok.  Love what you have at the moment and celebrate it.

2. “I can question obligations.”  There’s nothing that I need to do and nothing I should do.  But there are many things that I can and want to do.   I’ll decide.  I won’t let guilt decide for me.

3. “I can forgive the past.”  Nothing holds us back from being present like the past.  Forgiveness is a personal choice.  And, it’s freeing.

4. “I’m going to dream big and work hard today.”  There’s no better moment to accomplish your goals than right now. I find planning to be motivating.  But, things don’t always happen as we predict. So, don’t put all your eggs in the planning basket.  Leave something to chance!

5. “The best time to be present is when I’m surrounded by love.”  Love can really only be experienced when you are fully present.

So, let’s remind ourselves that being present is the most precious gift of all and it’s a gift that only you can give yourself.

Given how far off the ground my feet seem to be these days, I’m going to have to implement my “mantras” asap!

Have a great start to your week!