Let your steps enliven you
If a life most fully alive is lived in the present moment, then noticing how you are in a moment is an important practice. You don't have to be "all together" or "have the right answers." You just have to be just as you are in the Presence of God's Abundant Welcoming Love.
Last week, I shared about the breath prayer, "You are here" - a way to remind us in whatever we're facing, God is with us. [Click here for this previous post]. In that post I mentioned that knowing God is here, in this moment, and in all the moments of my day, is important. But sometimes that is only half the equation. Sometimes I pray to remind myself that God is here. But many times, I need to pray to remind myself that I am here too.
Too many of us live hypnotically through our days. I might go for a walk, for example, and instead of enjoying the fresh air and the movement of my body and the smells of the evergreens and crisp, smoky fall air, I am being kidnapped by my worries and to-do lists. I'm trying to solve, fix and figure out the rest of life...completely going through the motions and not realizing that I am in this moment. Instead of using the moment to be fully alive in the moment - I whirl my brain future worries or what remains undone.
How do we acknowledge that "I am here - in this moment - just as I am - and it is okay"?
Here is a suggested "Presence" prayer for you this week - practice it as you are walking to/from a meeting, or down the hall to the bathroom, while doing errands, or even while vacuuming from room to room.
- Merely notice, as you are taking steps, the feeling of your feet on the ground/pavement/floor. Then, with each corresponding foot step simply say, "Left, right, left, right, here, here, I am here."
- As you acknowledge that you are here...feel your body, and maybe even give thanks that you have legs to carry you, and arms to hold things, and a heart that pumps blood even without your bidding.
- Notice what smells, textures, tastes, sights are present to you as you are in this moment (vs in the top three inches of your body merely solving problems or making lists).
- If a "worry" or "to-do" comes into your head...just fling it aside for the moment and be here, present to yourself.
In this way you are not just using the top three inches of your body to think about God and your life. Sometimes, this awareness that "I am here" has the ability to take us out of our hypnotic-like way of merely "functioning" through our day to actually enjoying it - or at least being alive to what is vs. what I think should be. So today in the midst of being kidnapped by worries and to-do lists, try to feel your body - then simply let your lists and worries go and declare: "I am here." I am here, God is here. This is a holy, sacred moment even though it is only vacuuming. Life is lived in the present moment where I am aware that I am here and God is here and it is holy ground.
- As you declare and notice that "you are here" - take note of what else you might be noticing around you in your circumstances?
- Is there something to enjoy?
- What's drawing you to smell, feel, taste, listen, see it more deeply?
Take note: Do not be surprised if you find yourself feeling more....sometimes sadness, anger and joy. A side-effect of being present in body is giving space to both emit and notice emotion - emotion you may not have wanted to feel or just were too busy to notice or have habitually learned to shove down.
As you continue through your day - in these little moments of walking from car to house, from upstairs to down, out to a coffee cart - Practice praying with each step say, "Here I am, just as I am" and then be curious. How does it feel to be as you are not as you think you should be?