In life we are always running from A to B. Our mind thinks that if we work really hard in the present moment eventually there will be a time when we can relax and enjoy ourselves. Of course, most times we are so exhausted from rushing around that we end up simply watching Netflix. And yes, this is enjoyable and relaxing yet it is not the type of rest our mind requires, nor is it as productive as many of us wish to be.
Not that long ago I remember trying to rush through my day to get home. Rush to work, rush at work, talk to people on Facebook during the lunch break, pay bills whilst waiting for the kettle to boil in the afternoon, rush through traffic to get back home before finally getting through my front door where I could finally relax and be present by doing yoga for 10 minutes.
I am sure you have done something similar. You thought (if only subconsciously) let’s get through this week to get to the party this weekend, or, let’s work double as hard so we can finish early, and possibly, let’s just put our head down and work until our holiday in six months. We all do it and many of us end the day by cracking open a beer, opening a wine, and as stated above, watching TV. And when you think about it, are you really going to ignore the next 6 months to get to your holiday?
The problem with the above is that we have it all back to front (in my opinion). As per the example about my life, I was focused on getting home all day (not being present) which inclusive of driving to and from work meant that I spent 10 hours of rushing, stressing and being frustrated to try to have 10 minutes of peace and quiet. WTF? Furthermore, many of those days I couldn’t even find that 10 minutes as someone would drop by, I had projects to work on or someone gave me a call. So how does this make any sense? Well, it doesn’t! Yet it is what society has taught us to do. No wonder we are all grumpy…
The only true presence is in the now. We can’t plan presence, we just do it. We don’t need to be at a retreat nor do we have to meditate or do yoga, we just focus on what is in front of us and attempt to move flowing thoughts away when they come up. Being present means that there is no need to be frustrated as we don’t need to be anywhere else but in the now. There is no rush therefore there is no stress. We don’t need to worry about achieving things because being content in the now is not reliant on having things completed or being somewhere else later. Where we are is where we are meant to be and we know this for a fact because we are already there.
If we always wait for the future we never live the present. That’s my basic point here. We all (I do this as well even though I know better) say we can’t wait for the weekend or thank heavens it’s 5pm yet this is the trap.
My recommendation is to bring yourself into the present. For most of us our present is not taxing. Even work which appears stressful is only stressful because of the deadlines that others place on us or the deadlines/importance we place on ourselves. Remember, stress, although an important feeling to recognise, does not help us achieve our goal any faster. Although it is important to acknowledge stress (and any emotion/feelings we have) we can then take its message and let it go. We will then be more productive in our workload because our emotions and feelings aren’t creating barriers for us to work through. And if you believe that stressing helps you get through the day more efficiently and faster then please enjoy the heart attack, high blood pressure, frustration and anger that comes along with it. Sorry, but it’s true.
So once again, please don’t fall into the trap. A yoga or meditation retreat is a great chance to focus the mind yet if you can’t bring that dedication back to the 9 to 5 world I believe you should have spent your time on a beach drinking pina-coladas instead, mainly because it’s more fun. Practicing being present during work and throughout each day brings peace to the now. There are no emotions that exist at work except the ones that you have created through your own narrative. That’s why there is an array of different attitudes in most work places as each person sees the world differently. Being present aids you in seeing it for what it really is.
P.S Some workplaces are really s#$t. At times, yes, taking action to remove yourself can just be as important as changing your psychology around your workplace.