The cost of being present


Every time I look at this picture I smile. It might not look like there is a lot happening there but there was definitely a lot going on in my heart. Because I am a professional multitasker it is so easy for me to do lots of things at once; You can easily see me cooking dinner, talking to someone on the phone, washing dishes, laundry being done in the background, kids taking a bath, and to top it off answering any incoming text message while still on the phone. By the time it was time to put my head on the pillow I was drained, mentally exhausted but the thoughts of all the pending to do’s would not let me sleep. Has any of this ever happened to you? That you are so tired but cannot bring yourself to sleep? This had been me for more years than I could count, and yes things were getting done, and being done effectively, but what at what cost?

The cost of being truly present.

This picture means so much to me because I was truly present! I can describe what the weather was like that day because I can still feel it the sun shining on my face; I can talk about the people who where there because I was making eye contact with each of them as I listened to their words instead of hearing the noise they made in conversation. I remember what I was thinking and what was going through my head. Today, I look back at this picture with joy and it makes me look forward with the hope that I can continue to be fully present and feel at peace.

One of the things I have learned throughout my journey of living my everyday as a holiday is that multitasking is not as effective or productive as society tells us it is. The truth is the multitasking is a habit and this bad habit leaves us breathless, anxious, and puts us in a position of doing much more than we need to handle at one time.

We end up busy but not productive.

The key word in “Feeling productive” is “feeling”. You may feel emotionally satisfied and look interesting to others, but is it really happening?

It is interesting to see what Jesus says about worrying, rushing and living life to “get things done”. In Luke 10:42 He said to Martha “Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needful, and Mary has chosen what is better”. In another example Jesus’s words to His disciples remind us to live one day at a time, each moment to its fullest: “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Mathew 6:33-34).

Sometimes, in different areas of our lives, goals and dreams that we may have or that God has put in our hearts, we think and act like Martha. But I think that behind any true integral success, including your emotional health there is a principle that we must follow and that is to stay still; do one thing at a time and be fully present.

A new day, a new week, a new month knocks at the door of our hearts, so we must make room.
Make room to live simply, laugh freely, think calmly, grow radically, love deeply and depend on God continuously. Making space is key to being present, but to make space you need to let go of toxic thoughts, bad habits and allow God to renew your mind.

God wants us to be successful and productive, not busy and overwhelmed.

He wants us to live life to the fullest not survive through it.

I invite you to let go of any old commitments you have made to yourself that EVERYTHING must be done in one day, or the “ I can’t say no” or “I don’t have time” answers to every question. Let go of addictive or negative behaviors that no longer serve the person (Daughter, son, friend, parent, employee etc) you want to become.

Right there were you are as you are reading this, smile, stop answering messages or scrolling through social media, just shut everything down for a few minutes and ask yourself: What is the one thing, the thing I need most right now that deserves my attention and focus?

There is power in being present so choose to slow down and do the ONE RIGHT THING, and then the next and go on from there. You will be effective, you will get things done but most importantly, you are becoming the best version of yourself, living one day at a time, doing one thing at a time!