Being Present: Trying to live a conscious life in today’s world…is it possible?
I know this is a deep thought for a simple blog, but as with the other topics I try to relate current issues in my life to topics that I struggle with. While driving the other day I had a chance to think. This morning I was reflecting on a conversation I had the previous few days with my wife, Julianne, my sons Nick and Jake, and other friends (separate conversations with a common theme). I thought about where I am going. It’s easy to jump into the philosophical and think of this in regards to my career or my family, but I wasn’t thinking that deep or difficult. I was driving on autopilot…literally, where was I going? What road was I on? Why? How was I doing? This very basic and typical thought brought on the deeper thoughts.
In this basic thought I started to ask myself, why at 47 (nearly 48 and closer to 50 than ever, as my oldest son frequently reminds me) was I traveling at 5am to see patients, 75 minutes away from my home? I have been in my career for 25 years, have owned my own business almost 20 years. Why did I have so many meetings scheduled both nationally and for various local organizations I volunteer for? Where am I in all of this? Where was the time I had booked for ME? I can’t seem to find anything scheduled for ME on the iPhone, Google calendar, or even the wall calendars at work and home. Now I am not a ME person, and I’m definitely not looking for pity. The truth is that if I had book myself any ME time, it would have quickly been swapped to fit other more important things…meetings, kids, work stuff, etc. My ME time comes when I’m not sleeping or sick.
I was suddenly reminded of something that my very patient wife has reminded me of over the years, “You have the power to say no. You have the power to add to your overfilled plate or to take away from your plate. Delegate things to others, they can probably do it as well, almost as well, or even not as well…but you need to lower your head, drop your hand, and be patient to allow others to step up. Allow others to make mistakes or make their mark and gain experience. It does not always have to be YOU.” (Ideas from an audio series by Chalene Johnson)
You may struggle with this each day, each hour, or may have dealt with this monster years ago. The reason I am writing this blog is for those of you, like me that are just now waking up. BE PRESENT! That is the essence of this blog. Be present in all you do. Do not just drift through your day or meetings. The penalty of living like that is waking up one day and realizing that life did not pause for you while you stepped away, it continued to move along. Your friendships never developed, your relationships with your kids and family never deepened. People you wanted to speak with or share moments with may have passed on. Life moved on. Opportunities passed you by.
I am not saying that you or I have wasted days, months, years or decades being too busy to appreciate the many good things around us. I have accomplished many good things. I have amazing relationships and have helped so many people. I am sure whoever is reading this can say the same. I am not different than the average person in today’s fast paced, technology friendly world. I have much more to accomplish, more people to help, things to do with family and friends…but…
Am I PRESENT doing any of these things? It may be for all the right reasons but what is the end result?
I challenge all of you reading this to consider your own situations. Think back to the last time you really felt like you were consciously living your life and not just passing through all of life’s obligations. In next month’s blog I will go another step deeper and consider some other revelations on this topic and hopefully we can all work on living a more present life in the meantime.
Ed Ramsey, PT
Married to a gifted and health conscious, business owner wife and father of 2 wonderfully active boys