“The present moment never leaves you. It is you who leaves the present moment.”

If you are not present, then you must be in your mind. When you are in the mind, you are somewhere in the remembered past or imagined future. You are not here now. You are in a world full of all your thoughts, concepts, ideas, opinions and beliefs, including all those limiting beliefs which formed in early childhood and which negatively affect every aspect of your life. I am referring to limiting beliefs like: I am all alone, there is no one here for me, I am not loved, I am not accepted, I am not worthy, I am not good enough, I can’t do it.

When you are in the mind, you live with fear, judgment and desire. You also live with all the emotions from the past repressed within you and which are often being triggered.

When you are present, you open into an entirely different dimension of yourself and of life. You experience the truth and reality of the present moment. In Presence, you open into silence, peace, love, acceptance, compassion and true power. At the deeper levels of Presence, you open into Oneness, God and Heaven on Earth.

To be present is remarkably simple. Just bring yourself present with something that is here in the moment with you. If you can see it, hear it, feel it, taste it, touch it, or smell it in this moment, then you can be present with it. The moment you are truly present with something that is here in the moment with you, you are an awakened Being.

Even though being present is simple, it is not so easy to remain present as you live your life, go to work and participate in your relationships. We are constantly being pulled back into the world of the mind. If you are to integrate Presence into your day-to-day life, there are a number of steps you will have to take and guidelines that you will have to follow.

First, being present has to be your first priority. Many times each day, gently adjust your focus to be present with something that is here in the moment with you. We are habituated to living within the mind and we are addicted to thinking. It requires a very deep commitment to make that shift from the past and future to the present. Even if you are very busy at work, stop every now and then and for a minute or two, and bring yourself very present with the pen on your desk or the plant in the corner of the room. This way, you will maintain your connection with Presence. If you go for a walk, there is no need to be thinking. Just be present with what you see or hear or feel. If you are washing the dishes or having a shower, there is no need to be thinking. Just be present.

But to be present is not enough. You will also have to become a master of your mind and ego. You will have to go through a process of recognizing all the ways that you are involuntarily pulled out of the present moment.

In the course of my own awakening, I have identified four main ways that we are pulled out of Presence:

• Resistance of the ego. You will have to come into right relationship with the ego in a way that is acknowledging, loving and accepting, so that eventually it will surrender its need to be in control and it will no longer pull you out of Presence.

• Denial of your humanness. Who have you become living in a world where no one is present? Have you become angry, blaming, judgmental, guilty, resentful, needy, a victim? You will have to go through a process of owning, acknowledging and confessing who you have become if you are to awaken into the truth of who you are.

• Repressed emotions. These are continually being activated or triggered, which brings the past flooding in, making it impossible for us to remain in the truth and reality of the present moment. You will have to allow all those feelings repressed within you to gently surface into conscious and responsible expression for healing, completion and release.

• Entanglement in others. There are a number of powerful hooks that pull us out of the present moment and cause us to get lost in others. Looking to others for love, approval or acceptance is an example of such a hook. Fearing rejection or judgment is another way we lose ourselves.

Finally, you will have to free yourself from judgment, whether it is judgment of yourself, others, or some event that occurs in your life.

As you deepen into Presence, your life and relationships will be transformed. You will feel more peaceful and more loving. You will no longer look to others for love and acceptance. You will no longer judge yourself or others, nor will you fear the judgment or opinion of others.

You will feel more empowered to be yourself and express yourself fully and freely. You will think more clearly, and you will no longer be afflicted with that constant stream of unconscious and unintended thoughts. Your mind will be much quieter, and at the deeper levels of Presence, you will begin to experience what the great mystics and masters have been speaking about for centuries.

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