Living in the here and now. Trigger Warning


 

Hello, are you there?
Living in the here and now.

Are you though?
Bare with me, if you're lost at the moment and/or having anxiety, don't judge the start of this,
don't blow it off like all other self help things you see and skim past.
You've heard it all before yeah?

Read it all. THEN you can message me complaining about it if you feel the need.

Firstly lets set the mood, got a distracted mind? Be very calm, be very aware and let yourself be open to soaking this all in.
Got it? Yay lets get some knowledge!

For a long, long time I deeply, deeply struggled with being present.. But you're here Sami, what the hell are you on about?
How many times have I said/written, I am finally alive.. well I think I may have unknowingly lied to you guys, oops sorry about that..

What I thought 'being here meant', was not actually the same as being “here now”.
Ah yes Sami, obviously you're “here”.. is this girl tripping or what?
Nope.

Here & Now,  It's a state of being here, being present in your mind, being aware,
not just the thought of knowing that you're here physically on this earth.

If you've ever experienced worry, doubt, dread or anxiety then I'm sure you can relate.

We go through life experiencing these things, sometimes horrible things,
and we think “why me, what did I do to deserve this I'm a good person”..

Why has this happened TO me..

What I've only just come to realise lately though through a spiritual sort of transition of my own,
is that these things don't happen TO us necessarily.

We hold onto these feelings and thoughts that we experienced at a specific point in time,
maybe once or twice, or it could've been ongoing for a while now.

Think back to a bad time in your life only for a brief second, does your heart race?
Do you feel the same as you did then?

Why does the simple act of remembering cause us to experience things presently NOW as they WERE, and not how they currently are?

We are NOT our feelings, we cannot really be defined by anyone, by anything, even a trait,
there is no word in the English language that can define you (obviously 'human' though I hope),
other than the simple knowing that we are alive, we are present.
There is no category we can be put in, unless we put ourselves in it.
You are not an “emo” you are not a “hippy”, you are you, a being, and things you do and experience
shape how you and others think you are. Make sense?

Stop letting others define you.

Our personality, beliefs, values, they are ever changing, and the only thing that ever stays the
same and could/should be defined is that somewhere inside you, you KNOW you are there, you know you are present.

Close your eyes for a second once you've read this paragraph, try and literally push all your thoughts aside,
you can hear and feel them whizzing in your brain, kill the constant chatter- our minds wont shut up unless we
push them to the side, to the back wherever, throw some gasoline on them and light them on fire, and feel the emptyness,
there is a space there, somewhere within you that can control and move these thoughts, and feelings aside.
Focus on pushing the thoughts away no matter how hard they keep coming back, and if you get that feeling,
of nothing, even if it's for a split second, well done. Try it now.

Of course when you bring yourself back to reality the thoughts will always re-surface time and time again,
it's a habit. So stop it. When you feel the negativity come, shut your brain off for a sec,
and chose to focus on something present, name a few things around the room, “Oh I can see the TV is on,
and I can hear a car down the street, the fridge keeps making noise”.. that is what is real, that is our current experience.

The more you try and do this, the more it will help you in more ways than one.
You are there, presently in your mind, and you can choose what to do with your body, your thoughts,
your words, your actions. Never forget that.

Did you feel it? If no, okay maybe I'm nuts, but I guarantee 100%, there is a space there, a calm,
a place of nothing besides knowing that we are somehow present right at that second.

This sense of being here right now, is very important.
Never forget that it is there for you to access as you need.

For those who suffer strongly with anxiety or a sense of being lost,
or disconnected with yourself- this is so crucial you remember and practise
this in your journey to a better fulfilment in life.

I can't even believe these words coming out of my mouth right now, who is this person? I feel like I should put on a floral headband,
buy a van and take a trip around Australia haha! (typical stereotype) but see that's not me. I'm an everyday mum,
2 kids that annoy me sometimes, sitting at a laptop, I have piercings and tattoos, I rather be by myself and I'm
certainly not a nature hugging person, but I have the similar mentality. You can have it to, doesn't mean you need to
start praying everyday or meditating 2 hours a week or going around saving animals and trees.. that might not be you.
You stay the same, the only thing that changes is your perception of yourself and of life and let me tell you
it is so enlightening! ( and yes maybe over the last week I have had more of a wanting to be outside,
but that's the kind of things you want to experience when you are living, it's refreshing).

If you're feeling now that you've “lost yourself”, I can safely say, you haven't.
You've simply “forgotten” how to find that sense of being present.

This is something that has resonated with me in my writing, I have always had a strong urge to
write about being lost and feeling lost- no matter what area in your life you're referring to,
it's all the same. I have written it a thousand times
“maybe we don't lose ourselves, maybe we just simply forget”, and as I'm writing this it has stuck
out to me and I realised that I never understood the meaning of the sentence properly until now!

You do forget yourself sometimes and it's terrifying, but having this knowledge now, and choosing to implement it..
can be some life changing epiphany type stuff!

In a sense, through writing and practising being 'present', I have truly found myself. I know I'm here,
I know what I feel and do is under my control and I tell ya now it's amazing. And it is a very handy skill.

In times of great struggle, you need the ability to pull yourself back into your mind,
draw everything back and just focus on being there, and knowing.

I know I may sound nuts, hell I know I'm struggling to understand this whole enlightenment mumbo jumbo myself,
and trust me I've been going through some real epiphany type stuff the past week that has completely freaked me out right down to my core.

First, don't be like me, and skip through these kind of posts because they're all airy fairy
and nonsense for do good hippies... I have never associated myself like that, we have this pre set
judgement in our head when it comes to talking about these kind of things, especially if you are very skeptical.

What helps us get to this “space” this “present” feeling you're rambling about?

Here it comes.. ready..

Meditation, oh boreeeeee.. that's what I thought, meditation, yoga, all that loving stuff is SO not me,
I'm strictly what I see, hear and feel kind of girl.
I have only done like... 5/10 seconds a day of purposely pulling myself into that space-
even if I'm not stressed or anything.. It's called forming a habit!

Are you thinking meditation, that's so not my thing..
Well maybe you stumbled across this post for a greater reason,
maybe just maybe this is the sign, the push you've needed in your own journey.

So do you know what meditation is?


For me, I thought, yep, meditating is sitting on the floor making weird hand signals and
just breathing to relax your body like a freak. They get all connected to themselves and crap.
Right? Maybe you're so busy,
“How am I going to make time to meditate when I don't even get a second to myself each day?” .. this is also me.

I never really KNEW what meditation was, I knew about it, but never understood that it was so much greater than “relaxing”.

After lots of research I have discovered that it is so much more than that,
so if you're struggling right now, with finding yourself, or finding your purpose or loving yourself,
any of that, I highly, highly recommend checking it out.
You can even download free apps that help you! (see end of post!!)

First time is always VERY weird, you might not feel like you're getting it, but each time,
it is easier and easier to find that place of solitude, that knowing, and it is so much more beneficial to you than you think.
It is an excellent way to rip you away from “life” and pull you back to “reality”, the here and now.

Bit of a personal story: A few years back my mind was very troubled (anxiety, depression the lot),
I sought help and ended up seeing a psychologist, I'd always refused the idea before because, well,
no-one can help me, I was too scared to find the truth because I wasn't sure I was strong enough to
keep my head a float, I wasn't ready, I wasn't quite there yet.

I spent the next few months at my sessions talking through all what I thought were MY issues,
I thought they were the problem at that point in time because that was all I could see, other people.

I thought these “issues” surrounding me were the root cause of my misery and anxiety.

I can hear myself now saying, “This happened and this person did this, and it made me feel … xyz”
I'd be in tears because I felt like the issue was presently effecting me right at that second, and I couldn't shake these issues.
I found it really strange though, I thought through it all and I KNEW how to fix my life,
or so I thought. I spoke all the answers and then went off to implement all this change in my life, it was so terrifying by the way.

I thought that by finding a purpose or path in life to follow and throwing myself in the deep end would make my current problems go away.

So I did that, I thought I knew what I wanted, to help people, I've always strongly felt that was my purpose,
but was unsure in what way, so I figured I liked kids and went and became a Qualified Early Childhood Educator..
I went on to be a room leader for 2-3 year olds and although I liked doing it, I still felt empty and wrong like
I was going the wrong way, even though I had no clue what the “right” way was. It wasn't satisfying,
for you it could be that you want to help people by giving them amazing hair, you might want to do a trade.. whatever it may be you'll know.
(tip: think back to when you were a teen, what were some of your life dreams then?
Usually around 16/17 is when you're at your truest.. try exploring those options,
even if you've felt you couldn't make it, or it's too hard, too long to study, to hard an industry.. doesn't matter)

Fast forward a few years later and here I am, without a job, with no money or savings to my name,
without a clear specific goal or focus on my future, but I now have direction, which was there all along,
and I found it in that little space in my mind when I pushed everything aside.

Sounds so simple doesn't it.. and in a way it is.. but it's the belief, confidence and love you have for yourself that will see you through.

Anyway, point is, I have purpose now, and here I am broke with a heart full of love,
wanting to give and share with others, and the only way I know how to do that at the
moment is through writing. It always has been, it just took me 26 years to realise!
Will I make money off it? Who the heck knows?! If it's meant to happen, it will.

So if you are at a point in your life where you're unsure, just know, literally, everything happens for a reason,
and if you're not ready to accept it yet that's okay, it simply means you are not READY yet, you may try and fail
time and time again, think you've found yourself and then lose it again.. it's okay.

If this gets across to you but you don't have the drive to do anything about it yet that's okay,
I strongly believe that those who read this will take what they need from it. Maybe it was something
you needed to hear, or needed to remind yourself of, either way, I'm here anytime.

I'm not Jesus Christ re-incarnated, I'm not some weirdo hippy (no judgements if you classify yourself as one),
I do not fit into a category, I am me, I am present, and all I want is to help you.
So if you're feeling strongly that you're connecting with this on some level,
and have a gut feeling you want to contact me and chat, do it. You will if you were meant to anyway 🙂

Going off track a little as I usually do.
Let's take it back to the story for a little, so a few years back, Helen (my psychologist) always said to me,
“Sam, you're not living in the now, you need to live here, right now, focus on what's REALLY going on”.
“Yeah yeah shrink, same old words you say to everybody that has no specific meaning or intention to me personally..” that was me..

It took me a long time to actually TRY and process all of this, I just wanted a solution right that second,
I wanted to be instantly fixed. And as we always see, there is NO ultimate cure or technique that will
snap us into the right way, life is a process of learning.

Helen gave me exercises and examples to try when I had a few spare minutes,
-when you're having a shower, focus, quiet your mind, think about the water running down your back,
take your mind off those lists you have to do of xyz, drown out your kids needs, your relationship issues,
your job.. even focus on these words or a sentence and push everything away. Truly realise you are here,
right that second, having a shower, feeling, smelling, breathing, being alive, and that nothing is effecting you right now.

You're here now, not yesterday when someone called you a bitch, not tomorrow when you have a job interview,
not 4 years ago when your ex manipulated and ruined you.

You are here NOW, we do not need to focus on these things that are not current.
We get so caught up in our physical being, our looks, our friends, our jobs, our cars, and the busy-ness of
the world that we don't take a second to stop and pull back and really be for a second.
We always have to think, or occupy our minds with tv, friends, media.. if we are not then we are not “accepted”
as a normal part of this world. Obviously there are some things we need to focus on but understand, think or worry
about when the time it is current or about to happen.

We are so stuck in this world that we often forget that we even exist!
That we can make an impact, that we can find quiet through all the noise, anxieties and stresses of life.

I hope this makes sense to someone else as deeply as it does to me, I would love some reassurance that I'm not crazy haha!
And though all this stuff is coming out, I am here inside still, the personality I have is still here,
I just have a greater sense of myself... and wowwww I can see how crazy that would sound to others.

If this was me reading this a week ago.. I probably would've skimmed this post and just got out of it honestly.
That is how much of a significant change this whole understanding and learning to be present has given me,
that I just want to drive down the streets with my windows down yelling at strangers to wake up! Haha!

Your thoughts and words stain your mind, just remember that.
If you're constantly letting yourself feel bad, anxious feelings then you're letting yourself slip.
Not to say you're purposely making yourself miserable, but you kinda are, subconsiously anyway.

You don't have to believe it, you can continue to blame your surroundings your lifestyle..
whatever you want, but you shouldn't have to put a blame on anyone, it does nothing at all.
Definately do not BLAME yourself, you just didn't know, you weren't aware. And now you are so let's keep moving forward.

What does something, is you, being there, and finding that space in your mind,
and making decisions that will impact your life positively.

You see/read it everywhere, “you are what you eat, you are who you surround yourself with..” and that is 100% true.
We often skim past these, yeah yeah eat healthy, love yourself, we get it.
But do you? You might, but you might just not want to really listen, and if that's the case it's okay,
you're completely normal, come back to this post as you remember it in time of need.

Bit of a trigger warning here, if you're not comfortable you can skip this part,

but it will help you grasp the understanding better.

I want you now to think of a trigger, what sets you off, what makes you anxious,
what brings up sad feelings? It could be anything, a thought, a memory, an experience you once had,
or something that happened last week, it could even be something you're worried about in the future.
Have you pictured it? Is your heart racing? Are you overwhelmed with emotions or feelings from that time/experience?

Take notice. Now that you're feeling it, STOP.

How though?????? Thanks Sami you've made me feel crap now.
No, your mind did.

Tell yourself, that this trigger, or this experience, is something you are creating by feeding it more,
even right now by allowing yourself to get worked up about it.

Think about RIGHT NOW, is that experience happening? No. It's not.
You went through it already, or haven't experienced it yet. So why are you feeling it now?

You're probably just sitting somewhere.. your house.. your friends.. work.. wherever you may be.
You're reading this right now and it's going into your mind, creating a new memory for you to draw from.

Now it's your turn to read these words and let them settle in you.

You are here, right now, reading this. Sitting and reading something on the internet should not cause you
to have the emotional reaction to what you're feeling right now, this is something you have felt before,
or think you will feel in the future. It no longer exists right now unless you let it. Right now you can
feel a calm, feel your heat beating and tell yourself, slow down, I am fine, I am here, I am not in present danger,
I am not in a life threatening situation, I am just reading.
I can slow my heart down right now, focus on breathing in through my nose and blowing my stomach up like a balloon,
and exhale slowly through my mouth imagining my heart calming, go to that place in your mind that is dark,
force yourself to NOT think about anything, let it linger, realise where you are and that you are okay.

You can do it, and each time you feel yourself slipping back, the heart starts racing, remind yourself, no,
it's not even happening now, I'm being a freak, I am currently feeling... “tired because I didn't sleep well
last night... hungry.. bored.. lonely..”.. and let your mind go to current things.

When you realise your reactions, repetitive thoughts and feelings have shaped your life up until this point today,
and will continue to affect your future emotional state of being- it is so much easier to disconnect
yourself from these anxieties, worries and resurfacing memories.
Nobody wants to live like that.

So why are you living in the past and the future?

When you focus on being present and here it is a very powerful thing.

If this at all resonates with you I hope it stays with you and you remember it in your most desperate times of need.
Even if it's a quick thought, use me if you need,
“Ok. I'm freaking out, Sami says don't forget you're here right now, stop freaking out,
if you don't believe it and you can't pull yourself back, message Sami, message a loved one,
they can help pull me back down until I learn to do it myself.”

Email me! I don't want any of you to feel anxious or worried, so as I said, I am here.
We are all here for a reason whether you believe it or not. I know mine, maybe it's time for you to live right now and find out.

Pull yourself back into reality, even if its only focusing on that space for 5 seconds a day,
it makes it so much easier to draw from in times of need, go to that space.

Find your 'presence' in this moment right now, you don't even have to think anything.
It is always there, the space never disappears, you may forget how to find it, but it is there.
Find your head space, find you.

If you want to read up more I would really suggest these:

What The Hell is Meditation & Why do it?
Best Free Phone Apps - Meditation/Mindfulness
Meditation for beginners

Leave a comment below if anything resounds with you!

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