How to be in the here and now

You travel the same route each day to and from work, school or other place you visit frequently. You see buildings, parks, shops etc go by as you travel along our regular route. But do you actually see those buildings, parks and shops?

We get so caught up in our final destination that we forget to notice what is going on around us. When we get so busy with life, we forget to enjoy the beauty and magic in the world, in the people we meet or the places we visit.

Yet, it is not just your eyes that you notice things, but your other senses give you a sense of the world around you. Sound, sight, smell, touch and taste – all your senses are awakened when you are present in the here and now.

Let’s do an exercise – for one day take a moment to walk along your normal route. It can be a lunch time walk, a walk to the shops or even a walk on the beach. On your walk practice being present and simply notice the environment around you.

Mindfully notice the sounds, sights, smells, tastes and even feel as you touch a tree, a fence or a building. As you walk stop and pause to just notice the signals you pick up through your senses. Notice how your relationship changes while you are mindfully walking – being present.

Does your attention shift? How does your body and mind feel? Allow yourself to be brought into the present moment and enjoy the experience of being in your environment.

Whether you live in the city, the suburbs or the country, you can practice being present by simply noticing the environment around you. Noticing the colour schemes, textures, sounds, smells, patterns, movement all contributes to you being an observer of the present moment. It also allows you to connect better with the world and can make you more appreciative of your relationships with nature and in life.

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