For the past few years, closer to five years now, I’ve been developing my meditation practice.
I still don’t remember why I started meditating, but like many situations in our lives, serendipity is a beautiful thing.
Meditation has become one of my foundational, keystone practices. That is, I can’t go very long without it, or things in my life start to unravel a bit.
After all, a keystone is that top stone that holds all of the others in place. Meditation, like fitness, is that for me.
One of the things meditation has brought about in my life is a deeper appreciation for the present moment.
I’ve always been very cerebral, and I find myself “in my head,” even to this day, more often than not. Now, instead of an unconscious mental rampage, I can at least notice what’s going on in my mind, pause for a moment, and consciously decide if what I’m doing is what I want to be doing or is just happening automatically.
Meditation helps me live in the present moment.
For the past few months, I’ve been using an app called Calm. What I like about it is that each day there is a new 10-minute mediation with on a varying topic.
A recent topic of “The Present” is what inspired me to write this. So now that you have a little context let’s tie this back into why you should care about the present and what to do about it.
This meditation featured a quote from the Dalai Lama. When asked what surprised him the most, he responded:
Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
I see examples of this all the time, especially in the fitness and nutrition space. Many people come to me with the following goals - weight loss, muscle gain, get a big ole booty, biceps that look like they are going to pop, etc.
Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these goals. Ain’t no shame in wanting a big ole booty (since building out a big set of glutes usually means your strong AF, male or female, but that’s the fit pro in me talking so, I digress).
But we often don’t connect this to anything deeper. We know what we want (or at least we think we know what we want). But we don’t know why we want it.
Or sometimes we think we know why, but that why is still just at the surface. The “5 Why’s” exercise is one of my favorites to help refine why you want something to a much deeper level. If you’d like, you can download a copy of a 5 Why’s Worksheet by clicking the link below (no email required).
Download your free worksheet by clicking here:
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Knowing why we do what we do is an absolutely critical component to our mindfulness and presence especially when it comes to fitness and nutrition and here’s why:
Many times, we think that losing that last 10 pounds is what is going to unlock all of the happiness in the world for us. It’s the missing link and the sole reason why we’re not yet where we want to be.
We often do all of these things in the short-term to achieve that goal. We spend hours in the gym, our eating might get a bit disordered, and we tend to miss out on much of what’s going on around us. We turn down opportunities to spend time with our friends and family because we gots to get them gainz yo!
But without knowing why we’re doing what we’re doing, we’re not likely acknowledging the true cost. Time is our most precious resource. This moment is one we’ll never get back.
You just invested 3-6 weeks of your life to lose 10 pounds. And then finally six weeks later you’re 10 pounds lighter, and you suddenly find yourself wondering, “now what?” Does such and such person like you more now? Or all along did he or she really just want to spend more time with you?
This is why it's so important that we take the time to play and explore and figure out what it is that we really want and ultimately, why.
Now, I’m not saying that a dedicated focus to something specific is a bad thing or that you shouldn’t do it.
What I am saying is that we only have one life to live and living that one life in a perennial state of being on or off a diet is just no way to live. Is it really worth it? Do you really want to sacrifice every aspect of your life just for a couple of pounds that may or may not really do anything for you?
You see, when we start questioning our reasoning, we start to uncover things we would have otherwise missed.
Because here’s the thing, we can absolutely live in a way that will naturally enable us to be 10, 15, 20, 100 pounds lighter. And we can do it with little to no sacrifice - more of a shift in our focus and perspective.
You probably won’t get what you want in 30 days with 30 seconds of work or less. But it will come. And it will happen in a way that feels almost natural. Fun, even, if done the right way.
And much of this comes from appreciating each and every moment that we have given to us. The present, as cliche as it may sound, is truly a gift. Pay attention to what you’re doing with this gift. How can you use this very moment to support your entire life? How can you focus on your ideal state while still living in the now?
Most importantly, if it were easy, what would it look like and how can we have the most fun bringing this to life?
This is why I do what I do - to help you answer those questions and help you bring those to life.
Thanks for reading. Your time is precious. I love you. I appreciate you.
We’ll see you soon,
Paul Morris via Unsplash