3 Ways to Be Present: Tis the Season to be Present, Part 2

In the first part of this blog we discussed being present in all the chaos of life. If we wait until everything is calm and peaceful before we can become present, we will either wait a long time (maybe forever) or rarely be present in our lives.

Most importantly, when we are present, we are able to experience the presence of God in powerful ways. We slow down enough to realize God is with us and wants us to look to him.

Imagine having God right by your side to guide you through life, but never taking the time to listen to him or ask him for anything. Crazy, right? But we are all guilty of this because instead of being consumed by God in the present, we are consumed with everything else.

How do we practice being present so we can experience a closer connection with God?

By Ben Thompson

“Be still, and know that I am God…”
          Psalm 46:10a

In the first part of this blog we discussed being present in all the chaos of life. If we wait until everything is calm and peaceful before we can become present, we will either wait a longtime (maybe forever) or rarely be present in our lives.

Most importantly, when we are present, we are able to experience the presence of God in powerful ways. We slow down enough to realize God is with us and wants us to look to him.

Imagine having God right by your side to guide you through life, but never taking the time to listen to him or ask him for anything. Crazy, right? But we are all guilty of this because instead of being consumed by God in the present, we are consumed with everything else.

How do we practice being present so we can experience a closer connection with God?

Here are three simple things you can start doing today:

  1. Breathe! Breathing is the quickest and easiest way to reorient our bodies and minds to the present moment. I recommend taking slightly deeper breaths than normal and simply focus on the in and out of your breath. As you are more connected to your breathing and to the moment, you can then feel the presence of God more fully.
  2. Be quiet and listen. This is especially important in times you are having a heated conversation with someone or find yourself mentally obsessing over something. Simply tell yourself to slow down and pay attention to what is going on around you and inside you. Your body, for example, may be trying to tell you, “Hey there, I’m getting pretty hot and frustrated here. I need a break!” Then, you can take the little break that your heart, body, and probably everyone around you knows you need to take. As you quiet down, this will allow you to listen better to God in whatever ways he is speaking to you.
  3. Surrender. Don’t confuse this with giving up or giving in to your feelings. Surrender means accepting that your thoughts and feelings are currently too hard to let go of and you must give them over to God before they take you over (see Psalm 55:22). The next time you find yourself frustrated and getting angry tell yourself, “Surrender to this. You are upset and feeling out of control. God I am giving you control,” and allow yourself to experience God taking care of you and your emotions.

Being present takes practice. At New Vision we are here to help you become more present in your life and more connected to God. If we can help in any way, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We have great therapists who want you to experience a more present and connected life with God, yourself, and others.

Tis the Season to be Present, Part 1

“Be present” is something we’re hearing more and more these days, which is great advice, but who has the time? Sure, I’ll be present when the kids are quiet, it’s peaceful, and the last present is bought. If you are like me, that leaves little time to be present unless you are willing to get up at 2:30 in the morning.

Fortunately, God did not wait for everything to be calm before he sent his son, Jesus, to be present with us on earth. God did not wait for conditions to be perfect. As you read in the Bible, Jesus presence on earth started in the midst of scandal, serious danger, Roman rule, and potential death from King Herod that we read about in Matthew 2.

By Ben Thompson

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Matthew 1:23

“Be present”is something we’re hearing more and more these days, which is great advice, but who has the time? Sure, I’ll be present when the kids are quiet, it’s peaceful,and the last present is bought. If you are like me, that leaves little time to be present unless you are willing to get up at 2:30 in the morning.

Fortunately, God did not wait for everything to be calm before he sent his son, Jesus, to be present with us on earth. God did not wait for conditions to be perfect. As you read in the Bible, Jesus presence on earth started in the midst of scandal,serious danger, Roman rule, and potential death from King Herod that we read about in Matthew 2.

God showed us that peace was not a prerequisite to being present.

How peaceful and present are you feeling this holiday season? We find ourselves worried about getting the right presents, frustrated with our overspending, and getting angry with our loved ones. We are more concerned with buying presents than we are about being present. Ironically, we are in a season of year focused on the presence of God on earth, and it is one of the hardest times to be present.

Being present means being in this moment, peaceful or not.

It means taking a breath right now and calming down. It means stopping in the middle of a fight with your spouse or your kids, taking a breath, and asking yourself, “What’s most important to me right now?” When you slow down and pay attention to your body, mind, and soul, you are present.Then, you can make better decisions for yourself and those around you.

There is no better time than to be present than right now. Jesus presence on earth brought peace to a chaotic world. Likewise, our presence can bring peace on earth,peace to our families, and peace to ourselves in spite of all that is going on around us.

 In the next part of this blog series, I’ll teach you more ways you can become present in your everyday life.