Are You Fully Present?

I think a lot of people yearn to be fully present. They want to live in the moment and breath in life as it is happening. Some people believe this is one of the keys to living in peace, to being truly joyful, to appreciating everything, to being grateful! In our fast paced lives, I don’t think too many people even know how to be present. This is a very hard thing to do, because, in this busy life we live, we are constantly planning for whatever is ahead of us, worrying about the future, regretting the past, and planning accordingly. We are making appointments, checking our schedules, looking at our watches, running late, worrying about this and that, and trying to live up to unrealistic standards.

To be fully present means that you are living in the moment. You are experiencing life, and living life. This means you are not thinking about the past or the future.

It is said that being present is the ultimate goal. To be present means that you are in this moment, and you are engaged in whatever you are doing. This means that you are fully aware… feeling, enjoying, and being. You are drinking in life, even if the present is challenging or difficult. You are learning, expanding, and growing.

Being in this state means that you are showing up for life and being fully engaged, not just tiredly walking through life like a zombie or rushing so fast that life just passes by in a blink… in either case, that is not feeling, enjoying, or truly living.

I realized I was not being fully present the other morning during my workout. I was going through the motions, but I was not concentrating on my body, how it was moving and feeling and responding. I was not concentrating on my breathing; I was not in tune with my muscles. My body was working out, but my mind was not. My mind was elsewhere. I was planning my day, my week, and the meals I wanted to prepare. I was thinking about the size of my television, and the room I was in. I was thinking that I needed to sweep the wood floor I was on. I was calculating how much time I had left until I needed to get into the shower. I actually was thinking of everything except what my body was doing, or why I was there in the first place.

Once I realized my mind was elsewhere, I began to tune in. All my senses became acute. I was listening to the music and feeling the beat and rhythm. I was watching the lady on my workout DVD and mirroring her movements. I was feeling each muscle contract and expand… I was focusing on how strong and tired they felt at the same time. I was visualizing how healthy and in shape my body is. I was paying attention to my thirst, and my breathing, and my body heat. As I became fully present, my spirit was lifted. I felt joy, even in the tired pain of my muscles. I became grateful in the moment. I was grateful for my body, for my muscles, for the time I had to work out, for my glass of water, for my energy.
I felt fulfilled… I felt energized… I felt alive!

Being fully present is very hard to do when we are doing something alone, like working out… but it is even harder to do when in a relationship or group setting. How many times are you in a conversation with someone and the other person is talking and you are not listening? You are either thinking about how you will answer them, or you are thinking about something totally different, or you are waiting and wishing they would stop talking. I’ve been there, and I think we all have. How wonderful and enlightening would it be to be fully present with your relationships! To drink up their emotions, to hear and feel each and every word they speak, to look into their eyes and read them, to touch their soul and let them touch yours… what a neat exchange we can create! How great if we really slowed down, looked into our children’s eyes, listened with intent, and were fully present with them!

Take Action:Let’s all try to be fully present this week. When we are alone, and when we are interacting with others let’s use all of our senses to enjoy “what is” and try not to let our minds wonder into the past or the future. No regrets, no guilt. Yes, we have to plan what we are making for dinner, but let’s be present while we are making it! Let’s appreciate our homes and our full refrigerators and the people we get to cook for! Yes, doing laundry isn’t the most fun thing to do… but let’s be present while we are doing it. Let’s be grateful we have clothes, a washer and dryer, and the time and resources to do it! Yes, it’s hard to listen to your child tell you a long-winded story, but let’s be grateful we get to listen to them and that they want to share their stories with us!
Be Fully Present… Be grateful!

Best Fishing Presents: Present Ideas For Fishing Enthusiasts

Do you have a present to buy for a fishing lover? If so, this article will give you many ideas to ensure that the present you buy will be well appreciated and put into use to catch big fish.

First of all, you should know what type of fishing the recipient prefers. Does he/she fish in creeks to catch little trout? If so, you may wish to get a fly box with an assortment of flies. A fly fishing vest would delight any amateur fly fisherman/woman. (as long as they don`t already have one!) Come to think of it, hip waders would also be a perfect present for trout fishing enthusiasts.

If the fisherman is a bass fisherman or fisherwoman there is no better gift than a bass bucket of tackle. This gift basket is packaged in a minnow bucket and is filled with brand name tackle for bass fishing. It contains lures, hooks, bobbers, sinkers, jigs, line, swivels, floats, stringer and more. Can you imagine the excitement a bass fishing lover will get from this present?

If you need to buy a present for a saltwater deep sea fisherwoman/fisherman, ideal present ideas would include a fisherman`s toolkit or a fisherman`s outdoor tool collection with such goodies as knives, flashlight, scissors, cutting board, scale, file, gloves and rugged storage case.

On the other hand, if you are not sure which type of fishing the person practices, or if they fish for whatever is in season, here are the most popular presents for fishing this year… A multi-tool for fishing is sure to be a hit with fishing lovers. With such goodies as a hook remover, fish scraper, flashlight, knife, measure, scale and scissors, a good multi tool should definitely impress and amuse. A fancy tackle box or tackle bag is another idea, as is a t-shirt with a fishing message on it or a fishing book such as Bob Izumi`s 101 Best Fishing Tips.

A fishing magazine subscription will undoubtedly receive rave reviews since this is a present that keeps on giving throughout the year. The recipient will be reminded of your thoughtfulness many times during the year.

Finally, if you want to get really creative, a custom made fishing gift basket is a good idea. Create this gift basket filling it with things you know the fishing lover in your life will enjoy such as fishing lures, attractant spray, a fishing magazine, fish batter and newest little gadgets like a rock to sharpen his fishing knife and water resistant gloves.

Why You Should Not Memorize the Body of Your Speech Or Presentation

At a workshop I was holding in Toronto, one of the participants proceeded to deliver part of a rote, memorized persuasive presentation. This man, who I will call Bill, told us that he was a ‘professional’ speaker and that his presentations lasted 90 minutes. Luckily for us, he was only allowed to speak for 8-9 minutes; however, it took just 5 minutes of his memorized script for the attention of the group to begin to fade, as their eyes glazed over.

What was so interesting about Bill’s delivery was that at one point, he forgot a word. He then looked up to the ceiling, trying to capture the word. It was at that moment, and at that moment only, that he sounded and looked natural.

If you memorize your presentation or your speech, you are bound by the memorized word. Public speaking has, as one of its two fundamentals terms, the word speaking. The premise is that you are to talk to your audience, not at them. If you deliver a memorized script, you are not talking to or communicating with your listeners, you are performing. In that sense, you are acting.

The difficulty with memorization is two-fold:

1. If you forget where you are, you will have much more difficulty recapturing your thoughts. With memorization, there is a different thought process involved than in speaking around notes, a PowerPoint presentation or slides. In the latter, you have bullet points pointing you in the right direction. If you forget where you are when playing the piano, for example, it is quite possible that your fingers will continue to play even if your mind goes blank. This only happens, however, if you know the musical selection inside and out. Why the same does not hold true for memorization in speaking, however, is because the words will not come out of your mouth if you have forgotten what comes next.

2. The other problem with memorization is that you do not sound natural. Your delivery is much like that of the telesales people who phone you with their memorized script, trying to sell you something. What is fascinating about their approach is that they have no desire to communicate with you. Their role is to spit out a pile of words, trying to force you to listen and never once showing an interest in your response. Trying to politely end the conversation is near to impossible; and, sometimes the only way to tell them you are not interested is to hang up. Much the same is happening to the delivery of the memorized speech or presentation. It does not allow for your awareness of your audience’s reaction to you.

There are times when memorization is a must in public speaking. The body of your speech or presentation is not one of them.