Everyone needs ways to return home, to oneself. For me, learning to come back to myself, to be present, has been a life long journey. Because it has not been an easy journey for me, I have had to learn and to re-learn, again and again, ways to return to myself. That doesn’t make me good. What it does make me is a resource for simple, practical ways to return to oneself.
Sometimes, we don’t want to return! When we are feeling pain, or anger, or frustration, when our emotions seem to be overwhelming, it is difficult to make the choice to return to ourselves. The deeper journey of life is not about ignoring or avoiding “negative” or “difficult” feelings. The deeper journey, the journey to a full, complete life, includes the willingness to enter and to accept all feelings, including those that are uncomfortable, and even frightening. Embracing, accepting those feelings is part of the journey of coming back to yourself.
How do you return to yourself? One of the simplest, most powerful ways to return is to be present in the body. For some of us, this is easier than others! I pride myself on being a “city girl,” comfortable on the pavement, navigating between soaring buildings, enjoying the lights and the people I pass. That source of pride is also a weakness for me. I have had to learn, in later years, to return to myself, my body.
Take a few moments to sniff the air today. See the colors around you. Look at the sky. Watch the movement of the soft wind in the trees. What color are the trees, now, this moment? Sit for a moment, and feel yourself sitting in the chair. Know the pressure of your feet, in your shoes, on the floor.
I love to sit in the grass sometimes, and I am grateful for our luxurious plot of grass in the city. On the earth, my senses seem to come back to life. I smell and see and even hear the world in a more present way. When I am present to my moments in the grass, I am present to the present moment. And that is all there is. The masters speak of this, again and again. Our prayers, our meditations, our sitting, return us to this place – this place of presence, the present moment.
The present moment is the greatest gift, the greatest grounding of all. When, for a minute or an hour or a day, you are present, you will discover this greatest gift. You will want more and more of this, this presence, this being-at-one with yourself, in your body, whole, complete, in this moment.
You are deeper, you are more than your anxieties, your fears, for all those things that possess you and keep you trapped – trapped outside yourself. You are here, now. Join in the return. Come back to yourself, now.