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Why Do We Struggle So Much with Being Present?

Last week I was trying to think about what “being present” means to me. The next 5 days quickly flew by with work and family taking up every ounce of energy (and SXSW and Spring Break in the back of my mind). On Monday, I found myself, frankly, mind blown at how the world works.

On Monday nights a friend of mine, Grace, shares a weekly devotional to discuss the role that our belief system shares in the struggles we face in life. I was distracted looking at my phone when I heard her mention the importance of “being present.” Immediately I was stunned that of all things, she was talking about exactly what I had been trying to focus on. This crazy coincidence proved to me that no matter the spirit or higher being you may believe in, there is something driving us and showing us the way.

From Grace’s discussion I determined that we face two major problems with “being present” and in turn I’ve found two solutions:

· Problem: We are constantly looking forward into our lives. I know that I am consistently overwhelmed with what my next steps are—school, careers, marriages, families, etc. My entire world revolves around my future.

· Solution: Find a purpose in today. Why are you getting up today? What is it that you want to accomplish and how do you plan to do that? Find a reason for each moment you live in a given day and recognize the newfound awareness for what you are doing.

· Problem: We get suck in monotonous routines. We begin to live our lives in a cycle. Many people love the comfort of a routine— be it always taking your coffee the same way or scheduling each day exactly the same. These routines are a part of being human, but we often end up incognizant of the life that is passing us by.

· Solution: Recognize that everyone is here for a reason. Each one of us has been put on this Earth for a reason. We are each in a certain place in our lives for a reason. As you search for your purpose in today, I challenge you to look even further. Seek out the purpose that you have in life. As you become present and consciously live each day, that ultimate purpose will unveil itself and that is something to focus on.

With the countdown to SXSW just hours away, it’s going to be a week of crazy cool events that can all be categorized under “friends” or “boos.” For many of us it’s our version of “Spring Break” so we’re here to take it all in and make the most of one of the best times of the year. So what better time to practice “being present” then a time you’ll never want to forget?

· Don’t look forward, find your purpose today: Don’t get caught up in what you’ll be doing tomorrow, focus on what you’re doing today. Are you going to that Pilates class? Are you going to see that concert? The choices are endless, so pick the ones that mean something to you.

· Don’t do the same things, recognize your goals and mix it up. Whether you’ve been coming to SXSW for years or this is your first time, try something new! Push yourself to do Pilates and Ryde back to back or go see that speaker you’ve been wanting to hear. Don’t let your routines give this time a sense of tedium, get out there and go to the events that are new this year.

“Being present” is something that you have to do consciously. You make certain choices every day and this has to be one of them. We are so fortunate to get to spend this time at one of the coolest events in one of the greatest cities in the world, make the choice to live it like you never have before.

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