How to commit to the present?

Committing to the present


Last week a friend invited me to come with her to the ‘De Mot Verhalen‘. In a beautiful setting, all kinds of people sit together and five of them tell a story with a musical intermezzo in between. It is organized to stimulate storytelling by real people. A wonderful experience. Five completely different stories, shared by five completely different people. The most beautiful part of it to me was how we, with all people present, somehow carried the person telling the story. Making it possible for them to share something personal, sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking.

The last person to tell her story was a woman who committed herself to being in the present moment for the rest of her life. Something I’ve been trying to do as well, but still regularly find myself wandering off. Which is ok, as mindfulness is not a trick, something you can be for a moment, know how it works and move on. It is something you need to do, practice and practice over and over again. Something you have to remind yourself of continuously.

Now committing to the present doesn’t mean there’s no agenda. We have things to do. Just while your doing what has to be done, you’re are fully and totally present. Not, like I wrote about last week, making breakfast and already thinking about your meetings. No. Fully present. You, with your power, beauty and love. With your failures and mistakes, with your vulnerability and ego, all of you. And that is not so easily done. As we have learned to just bring to the table what we need in order to join the party. Frederic Laloux writes about that in his book Reinventing organizations beautifully. In order to live a full and happy life, we need all of ourselves to be always present. Only then can we hear our feelings telling us what to do or where to go. Telling yourself a part of you doesn’t really need to be in this or that situation (you don’t need your vulnerability to be present at work for example), is renouncing a part of yourself.

So committing to the present to me is bringing all of me where ever I am. About being authentic. It is about connecting with what is there, showing itself in the present moment. Wishing someone a good morning, instead of passing without contact. Listening to this voice inside and do what it is telling you to. It is about living the journey towards a goal, rather than reaching the goal itself. Being present means fully living the beautiful, the sad, the joyful and the difficult moments in order to appreciate all aspects of life at their core.

Have you ever thought about what it means to you to be fully present? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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