In case you haven’t noticed, change is in the air. It has been for a while now, but the pace is accelerating faster than you can say Speedy Gonzales.

Whether we are experiencing change via technology, elections, economic shifts, loss of loved ones, the effects of global warming, natural disasters or, in the most extreme cases, living in the midst of or fleeing war and/or genocide, it’s important to have as much clarity and strength as possible to weather such turmoil, and to have an inner resolve of peace and harmony that can carry us through when all around us has been anything but.

I recently saw the films The Promise and Their Finest, which take place during some the most tumultuous times on our planet, World Wars I and II, respectively. Although they are set in the past and in foreign lands, unfortunately the themes and similarities are all too close for comfort in the current political climate. Watching them only confirmed my sense of urgency about doubling down on living in the present, stopping even more to smell the roses and appreciating all that we have while we have it. Essentially focusing on our positive feelings, which at the core helps to maintain a state of peace in all its relative forms.

This is why practices like mediation, yoga, affirmations and other mindful activities I often prescribe to my clients are so important, now more than ever, not just for wellness, sanity and self-care, but for building up a muscle you don’t even realize exists until you are required to flex it in times of crisis and chaos. This is what will sustain you when the goin’ gets tough.

Another way you can build up that foundation of calm, centeredness and strength is to be continually conscious of the present, and really feel each good, joyous, peaceful moment as you experience it — not just by observing or having a positive attitude, but by integrating and absorbing them into your cellular memory so they can be recalled as needed down the line, and when you might least expect it.

Take advantage of every glorious encounter — even small but meaningful things like soaking in the sun on a warm spring day or having a good laugh with your bestie — by staying awake to your own existence, absorbing its essence and expressing gratitude for it on every level. This creates a storehouse for when the storms and stress arrive — as they inevitably will, such is the cycle of life — but you can then be more fortified and less influenced by the accompanying toxicity and dis-ease when they do.

Become hyper-aware of when you are enjoying moments of pleasure, connection, joy, love, beauty, justice. Although they, like everything in life, are always temporary, when you allow yourself to experience them more viscerally on all levels of mind, body and spirit, you are building up an internal stockpile that will serve you when they are in short supply.

Be sure to rest whenever you have the opportunity, and be disciplined about recognizing, seeking out or making it possible when you don’t.

Embrace and savor fully music, dance, food, conversation; listen deeply to your friends, kids, parents, spouse, partner, neighbor, strangers. Really hear and interact with them with every cell of your being. This is what builds up your reserves for those more isolated or disorienting and dehumanizing times. Remember your humanity.

Clean up and stay clear of any emotional, mental and physical clutter, so when situations and crises arrive, you can be fully present and deal with them by standing in the most enlightened, compassionate version of yourself.

Sink into the present as if the past and future don’t exist, because technically, at this moment they don’t. Learn from and then let go of the past. You cannot change what has already transpired, so no reason to regurgitate and relive it over and over, especially if it was a painful or negative situation — this is where forgiveness comes in!

Get out of your head so you can be open to and grounded in the possibilities at hand. Therein lies our empowerment and salvation: our current thoughts, words and deeds are our building blocks, and the more aligned and aware you can be in your present intentions and interactions, the more fulfilling and peaceful your destiny will be, since you are the one creating it.

By being fully present, we can weave a future to be proud of and comfortable to live in, even in our darker hours. In other words, liberate yourself today by being in the here and now, and you will ensure a better tomorrow, even if it’s only your ability to cope more easily and successfully with whatever that future beholds.

In need of a little Ray of Light to illuminate the positive and keep it from flying by? Give me a buzz and I’ll help you slow things down and focus so you can feel like you just got home to enjoy the universe of goodies contained within it!

(Today’s PGG was originally published on April 20, 2017)


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