Narrating the Present – Being in the Now

Sometimes we get lost. In the swirl and whirl of our thoughts. In the energy of our emotions. So lost, we can find ourselves angry, hurt, terrified, bewildered, or worried and out of time, in a memory we React to as if it were real in this very moment, or a prediction of a future that terrifies.

This is our imagination, and in that moment, we are our worst enemy. Because in that getting lost we forget who and where we really are, and what is really true.

This, of course, creates the opposite of inner peace. It creates inner hell, inner war. And to call a truce, we must find a way to raise the white flag of truth and call ourselves back to who and where we truly are. In this present moment.

Being in the present moment tends to have little to do with most of our thinking. It has to do with our ‘being’. And when we’re ‘being’ in the present moment, we become calm, peaceful, happy.

There’s a technique I teach my counseling clients and meditation students. I call it Narrating The Present. Becoming the narrator of what’s happening Right Now.

Here’s how it works…

The body is always in present time. It cannot be otherwise. The mind is seldom fully focused on what’s happening right now. It is mostly regretting the past and dreading the future. When we Narrate the Present we become aware of exactly where it is we are and what it is we’re doing. On a very specific, detailed level. We instruct the inner voice to become the conscious narrator of what is truly going on.

For example, as I’m writing, if I slow down, I can begin to narrate: “My fingers are typing, I am looking at the screen. Now I am breathing in, and now I am breathing out. My fingers are s p e l l i n g the word ‘spelling’, and now I am finishing the sentence and pushing the return key.”

Another example might be when we struggle with our minds when we can’t sleep. We have less distraction than normal in the middle of the night, when we are alone with ourselves and our thinking. So, I might begin by noting, “I am lying on my right side. I am lying in bed and my eyes are closed. Now I am taking a breath in. Now I am letting the breath out. Now I am moving my left arm and touching the pillow with my hand. Now I am adjusting my right foot and breathing in again.”

The more we can slow down and experience where we Are, the quieter and more focused the mind can become. This becomes a kind of moving meditation, because we are bringing our attention specifically to what is happening in the current moment. A very different place than where the mind tends to dwell. We are inviting it to dwell here, to bring ourselves peace and calm.

When we are in the moment, narrating the present, there is nothing to worry about. Because worry is a negative anticipation of a future that has yet to be. And we are simply where we are, observing it and making note, gently and carefully. Mindfully. Right now.