Intentionally being more present is such an amazing gift that I’ve given myself. I cannot put into words how much more joyful and peaceful I feel when I am present. I noticed that whenever I feel “bad” I am caught up in thoughts that things should be different than they are, or I’m thinking of the past or future. When I am present, I am INVARIABLY happy and peaceful.
Even during a pretty intense workout today, I discovered that when I inhaled all of my energy back to the moment, I was physically stronger and more energized.
Honestly, this feels like it could possibly be an overstatement, but I truly feel that bringing your highest and best self to the present moment solves every problem that life could possibly throw at me. I‘ve been searching for all of my life for the ”one thing”, the ultimate life hack that would be the only thing that I have to remember to do. Within the past few weeks, I gave up the idea that there is such a thing. It‘s interesting that I gave up trying to find that ultimate life hack, and now I believe that I have found it.
I have never felt this way about any other practice that I’ve done. Meditation has been absolutely life changing and deeply healing. I wouldn’t give it up for anything. Exercise has been another daily practice that I have found to be essential in my well-being and spiritual fitness toolkit. However, this practice of ananda presence has been the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. It’s taken so much awareness to return to present, and it’s taken every ounce of patience, maturity and emotional strength to continuously put my own personal preferences and thoughts aside and come back to serving with joy and gratitude. It called upon every spiritual and emotional skill I’ve ever learned, and I have been as committed to this as I’ve ever been to anything. I know that it’s only been 11 days, so it’s hard to talk about commitment already, however, I feel that because of the intensity of this, my commitment has been tested as many times as my usual practices are tested in a year. It’s mind blowing how much discipline it’s been requiring of me to be present for only an hour.
Essentially, I am carried off into something or somewhere else that isn’t the reality in front of me at least every minute. I could be wrong, but that’s what it seems like to me. That’s a lot of practicing returning my attention to the present.
I have noticed that I’ve been a bit more tired than usual. My sleep hasn’t changed much, but I feel like I am a little more tired during the day. I’ve also noticed that it’s natural for me to not have my phone on me now. I forgot my phone at home when I went to the gym today. That would’ve been unthinkable two weeks ago. It’s amazing how much can change in eleven days.
What I’m learning is that being present is a skill, and living in service is a habit. Each day, both of these things have been getting easier. I expect that every day will be different and of course, challenges will arise. I intend to use challenges to grow spiritually. I’m not asking for them (please hear me, universe), but I will use everything as a spiritual practice of liberation from the personal self, aka the ego 😊
I was very present today. I’m finding this commitment to be easier and easier each day. I did have a few weird arguments in my head with various people. Mostly about fantasy scenarios. Very strange.
I did feel grateful and I really was able to love what was unfolding in my life. I had a moment during my workout of feeling dissatisfied with the day, but for the most part I was very grateful.
I didn’t consume any information, and I didn’t scroll social media at all. I did notice though, that I’m not really doing the second part of this, turning inwards for guidance. That’s something to try tomorrow.
I have been trusting life more and more each day. I didn‘t try to fix or change anything. I even cooked and cleaned more than usual - and was totally neutral about it. I’m finding that mindfully doing one thing at a time truly makes EVERYTHING much more pleasant.
The only thing that I felt a little bit resistant towards was my workout, but that’s true almost every day. I simply showed up and did my best.
I meditated for about 2.5 hours today and it was lovely. I’m really able to focus much more in my meditations, and I am also getting to that “nowhere” place much more easily and I’m able to stay there a little longer each day.
I loved being on the zoom call tonight with all of the patrons. It feels so wonderful to serve there in any way that I can. I feel very fulfilled. It was also wonderful to just listen to Will in our conversation this morning, and it felt great to cook for the kids.
The “rules” or guidelines for a year of Ananda (See Ananda definition here)
* I will be as present as possible, grateful and loving what arises. I will focus on serving whatever is in front of me joyfully.
* No social media scrolling! I will only post my content and answer comments and questions that are on my content.
* No intake of external information. No more podcasts, books, audiobooks, YouTube videos or information of any kind. 😳 I will turn inwards for answers, guidance and information.
* I will trust life COMPLETELY. No more struggle, striving, controlling, wanting or trying to make something happen. I will trust and know that whatever is in my life is perfect, and I don’t need to fix or change it.
* I will move toward what I resist, NO personal preferences or agendas. I will say YES to all of life. (Unless I'm in physical danger, of course)
* I will engage in as many spiritual practices as possible every day.
* I will focus on GIVING and SERVING.