Be Here Now

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” – Maya Angelou

I am starting to find peace in the present moment. It is a constant struggle to be here now. When I get it, even for a short period of time, it helps me relieve tension. It lessens anger and sadness from things I cannot change, that happened so long ago or yesterday. It keeps me from traveling down those well-worn paths in my mind…thought patterns that don’t go anywhere good. That keep me stuck.

Reminding myself to be here now helps me remember that I am safe, and that I create my safety in this world by staying sober and taking care of myself and those around me. I was not safe when I was drinking. I was vulnerable to things happening to me…an accident, drinking too much and poisoning myself, being hurt by someone because I couldn’t take care of myself, falling down. I also wasn’t safe on the inside because I was letting fear rule my life. Fear of feeling. Fear of failure. Fear of being hurt. Fear of doing something I couldn’t take back or apologize for. So much fear it was causing me to have massive amounts of anxiety, which led to the desire to drink it all away. I was hurting myself from the inside. How can you feel safe when you are hurting yourself? Who will protect you from YOU?

I feel safe here in the present moment. I don’t have to travel down those well-worn paths anymore. I can choose new places to take my mind. So…I remind myself to be here now. I also like stay here, though I am not brave enough for a tattoo just yet. Maybe a bracelet. They are simple, but very powerful, mantras that help me feel more balanced and centered, even if just for a few moments.

This is usually how it goes: Remind myself to be here now. Breathe…take a deep breath…take another…pay attention to my breathing…look at my hands…touch something nearby…stop and look around me…really look…is everything okay in my immediate vicinity? Yes? Then I am safe. I am okay. And it is okay to relax. I can think about these other things tomorrow if I need to. Really, though, I probably don’t need to.

If I really can’t let it go I can write about it or talk about it or pray about it. Letting my mind spin in circles just makes me feel helpless and hopeless….more likely to seek comfort in my favorite mind-numbing substance. Why make life harder than it has to be?

Living in the moment takes practice. It is funny/sad that I used to think I was practicing when I was drinking, but really I was taking myself completely out of the moment. I read all sorts of meditation and mindfulness books, but didn’t realize that my alcohol use made it virtually impossible to be in the mental space I was seeking. I think I am finally starting to learn how to do this for the first time ever.

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12 thoughts on “Be Here Now

  1. “I read all sorts of meditation and mindfulness books, but didn’t realize that my alcohol use made it virtually impossible to be in the mental space I was seeking. I think I am finally starting to learn how to do this for the first time ever.”

    This is exactly how I feel. I was trying to “be kind and be present, but I was undoing all my hard work by drinking 4 nights a week. We’re all learning eh?

  2. Lately, I’ve actually been having moments where I’m like, UM, you’re going to have to take a breath, DDG. Like, I’m totally not even breathing. I think I’ve been living like this a long time, and obviously, never connected it to all the emotional and physical (back pain!) problems that crept up on me. Breathe. YESSSSSSSS. Just breathe. It does wonders. HUGS! So glad you seem to be moving forward in this strange new world.

    • Thank you DDG! I have forgotten to breathe before, too. Ha! Something so simple can actually help. Pretty, pretty cool. This IS a strange new world…getting better all the time. And then worse. But then better again… πŸ™‚
      xx

  3. This is one of my constant struggles too. I always thought it was just my personality, and there was not much I could do to improve it. I am glad to know that there is hope, and stress can be managed by living in the moment. This is one of my mantras. I stole it from my yoga instructor.

    I move forward with my attitude of gratitude.

    Glad you are doing well. Good luck with the holiday. I hope you are able to enjoy family time and peace! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks lady!! I have been realizing that many things I thought were part of my personality are actually not…I might write something about it cause it’s been on my mind a lot lately. Anyway, I feel ya. Have a great holiday! I am laying low with my husband, little guy and some good food. πŸ™‚ xx

  4. That experience- of thinking I was seeking, maybe even finding, some clarity and presence- while I was drinking. Yup, me too. And realizing now that alcohol works directly against being present, that its whole job was to remove me from the present!! I loved that tattoo, of Stay Here. Perhaps I will reconsider my ‘Hell, no’ stance on tattoos (since I seem to be reconsidering or changing so many other things…)

    CarrieK at Day #28

    • Ha! I am still scared of tattoos, but jewelry is another thing. Maybe in the future. πŸ™‚ It is kind of self-defeating to work on being present and then drink. Crazy that it never seemed that way when I was doing it! xx

  5. Isn’t it funny the stuff we realize when we get sober. I wonder how I manage at anything in life. Geez, I had it all so mixed up. I love this post. I love the space you are in … it reminds me to breathe too. TY

    • I probably still have it all mixed up, but hopefully a little less so… I don’t know. Sometimes it seems like I am really mixed up because of all the things I was avoiding! See…breathing is good…deep breath. πŸ™‚

  6. Do I always suggest Eckhart Tolle “The Power of Now”? And you are like, “Yes Amy, I know. You always say that.”?

    Breathing is one of my best things too. Big fat stomach stretchy deep ones. That and saying, “I am OK. I am OK.” over and over until I am actually OK.

    xoxoxo

    • Ha! I read the ‘Power of Now’ years ago…I think I should revisit it. It would probably take on new meaning at this point in my life. I LOVE his book ‘A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose’. I have read that one a bunch of times. xx

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