In this fast paced society of technology, being present and deliberate seems a challenge. With technology having information download in milliseconds and things happening at lightening speed pace, sometimes our minds seems to similarly run away from us or “download” too quickly. Whether it is the challenge of quieting your mind at night for sleep or having a conversation with a colleague or loved one and having your mind run rampant with thoughts, that you can barely listen to them… we have those moments regularly where our mind seems unable to be quiet and clear.             

            The key to quieting our minds and gaining focus is easy, it simply takes practice. Admittedly, with all the busy-ness of our schedules and lives and the availability of technology, we are simply out of practice. The way for us to practice is simply that, practice! Notice I did not say master, be perfect, or make sure of something. Practice quieting your mind in your life in every moment.

            The first secret is BE WHERE YOU ARE. Often we are distracted by the waves of information or things there are for us to encounter and engage. Often we are so over-loaded with technology or things to do, we do not realize we are not present. At other times, life hands us challenging events that have us desire not to be present. Whatever the circumstances, we find ourselves often missing in our own lives. For example, have you ever been talking to someone, and waiting to say what you want to say and not listening? Have you been at dinner with family and so concerned about what there is to do, you are looking at your phone every second? Not being there in the moment of Now - can look many ways. What is your way of checking out? Practice being in every moment by simply listening to people, noticing the mundane details around you, putting away technology and looking people in the eye. Practice being where you are.

            The second secret is LEAVE LIFE BETTER because you were there. As you go about your day and travel in the work and play places you go - do something that leaves people and the physical space better. Just think, if we have our attention on increasing the love, picking up a piece of trash that others have stepped over, showing gratitude to someone so that they are left smiling, or whatever you can creatively come up with – life will be better simply because we were there. You will start to notice that the time and energy that your mind spends wondering and worrying will subside and you will gain control of your intention and attention. Practice leaving life (people, places, things) better because you were there.

            The third secret is GIVE YOUR FULL ATTENTION TO APPRECIATION. Everyday will bring its share of challenges, changes, and bumps in the road. In the face of it all, appreciate. Appreciate what? Everything. Give your full attention to appreciating people, creation, your health, your home, your life and anything else that comes to your mind. How many complaints do you register in a day? Whether you say them out loud or to someone. How many times do you talk about what you do not like, what does not work, or what you want to be different? When is the last time you went through your whole day appreciating something in every moment? Yes, challenges and changes happen and in the face of those happenings, when you mind want to run rampant with random thoughts and complaints. Practice putting your full attention on appreciating life. Appreciate your ability to read this post, use your eyes, your body, your life your clothing, your spouse, your children. Whatever you can put your attention on, practicing giving full attention to appreciation and gratitude. Overall, these 3 secrets when practiced over time will really give you the ability to take charge of your life and rule your heart and mind. 

Have fun practicing!