Jeff Kidman Contributing Writer
Legacy Discovery Shaman Jeff Kidman brings to you exercises you can undertake anywhere, at a time that works for you. For the man on a men’s team, in a men’s group or out there on his own. The intention of these exercises is to bring you into greater connection to something bigger, so that you can broaden your context, reach your highest potential and ultimately be more successful in the endeavors that matter to you and those you influence.
A Tool For Being Present
I was listening to a Ted Talk about happiness. This particular speaker has an ongoing study that uses an app to track happiness. His basic conclusion is that we are most ‘happy’ when we are lost in the moment, or most present to what we are doing. We are least happy when we are distracted, or our mind is wandering to things that we are not actually engaged in at the moment. This sounds great, and there are lots of popular authors and paradigms that talk about becoming present. Here’s one simple practice that can help bring you to being present to your body.
This practice also reminds me of a meditation that my sensei would have us do sometimes to end our classes, which is maybe part of why I like it.
- Start in a comfortable position, sitting or laying down.
- Close your eyes or let them go unfocused.
- Start at your toes and noticed how they feel.
- Feel their temperature.
- Wiggle them and feel them rub against each other.
- Move your attention to your legs.
- Notice if they are tense or relaxed.
- Feel your chest rise and fall with each breath.
- Observe your arms and if they are comfortable.
- Notice what your neck, face and scalp feel like.
- Listen to the sounds around you.
- Smell the air as it enters your nose.
Don’t evaluate whether something could be better; acknowledge what is so. When I do this I tend to get more relaxed as I go, noticing where I’m tense. This process might take a few seconds or you might want to sit for a several minutes. Even in those few seconds you are more present. I find that I am less anxious after a few moments of reconnecting with myself through my body.
With any practice, your mileage may vary. By this I mean that one person may be very excited and energized and another completely non-plussed by the same practice. This is just one path and I encourage you to try other ways to becoming present.