Friday, Sep 22, 2017
I enjoyed a great afternoon a few days ago. Heidi and I took a walk along the beach from our house into Olon. The day wasn’t spectacular; the white clouds that blanketed the sky didn’t allow for a single drop of sunshine to spill out. The temperature was pleasant, even slightly warm, with a soft breeze blowing inward onto land.
I enjoyed looking at the waves crashing, rolling and splashing along the shoreline of a beach at low tide. As we walked I realized what a pleasant feeling I was having. There was no where I needed to be. Actually, no where I wanted to be except in the present moment I was having now.
What Do You See
When we arrived in Olon, Heidi and I decided to enjoy a beer at our favorite beach cabana, and there we sat. I was watching the people lounging in their beach chairs, and walking in the sand. I followed the laughter of kids running toward the surf. In the distance I gazed upon surfers; patient, present with the ocean hum waiting for their wave to arrive.
Being in this present moment made me once again appreciate the really cool life I get to enjoy. In this moment I woke up once more, fully present with my surroundings, fully appreciative of the experience I am having living in Ecuador. And it was more than that.
I was acutely aware of the importance of slowing down, being still, and just looking. I felt myself part of this unique place I was in. I could watch myself having this experience. I was very much alive and in motion with all that was around me, and I wasn’t moving a muscle. In my pause I was present.
In my patch of sand on this beach I was reminded that my life is great. It is filled with a unique adventure of my choosing. What I understood in this moment was how truly lucky I am to be living in this beautiful place; a unique place filled with fascinating people reflecting a culture different from my own. I am blessed to have this opportunity.
And this present moment once again reminded of something.
Moments of presence are readily available where ever you live. It could be during a conversation with a loved one around the kitchen table. Maybe it is when you are laying on the grass watching a breeze ruffle through the leaves of tall trees. It can even happen at work with your coworkers and change a dull routine into a vibrant experience.
Being present in your moments is the difference between living and existing, a difference between consciousness and numbness. Someone may say, “Yeah Todd. It’s easy to be present on a tropical beach in South America. Try doing that working a 9 to 5 and having to pay bills”. Fair enough. What I have learned is that living on a tropical beach is no guarantee of presence.
I am guilty of getting caught up in my own challenges of the day. Waking early, focused on getting something done, and then missing out on just about everything and everyone in my path. I don’t see a beautiful ocean beach. No longer do I hear the sounds of the sea. I don’t engage. I’m not connected or present with the people moving around me.
Don’t Miss It
What a shame that is. What a missed opportunity to connect with meaningful moments.
Next time you find yourself, your mind, everywhere but where you are, stop and look at your hands. Become present with yourself in the microsecond of that moment. Then look around. Be present with where you are at. What do you see? How do you feel? Maybe you want something different, or maybe you just saw something fantastic you have been missing. Regardless of what you are seeing, now you are actually seeing it; in the present moment with it.
I think this is called living.