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Connecting with the HERE and NOW October 16, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

When we feel stressed (tight, tense, and stretched too thin), that’s a reminder from the right brain to let go of extraneous thoughts and tune in to this moment.

When we silence the left analytical brain, and allow ourselves to JUST BE, our bottomless well of inner peace surfaces:

To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful.  It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.  (My Stroke of Insight, p. 159)

The feeling of deep inner peace is neurological circuitry located in our right brain.  This circuitry is constantly running and always available for us to hook into.  The feeling of peace is something that happens in the present moment.  It’s not something that we bring with us from the past or project into the future.  Step one to experiencing inner peace is the willingness to be present in the right here, right now. (Ibid.)

There are many ways to do just that . . .

First, slow down.
Breathe.  Relax.  Repeat.

Focus on your thoughts.
Extraneous thoughts pull us AWAY from THIS moment.

Our body is here . . . our thoughts are miles away.
We need to get them back in sync.

Breathe in.  Do a full body scan.  Take a break from distracting thoughts and focus on your body.  Release any tension you feel.   Relax into the moment.

Be mindful.  Pay attention.

There are countless ways to switch from our left analytical brain to our right experiential brain:

* Peel an orange ~ feel the peel, smell the citrus, taste the burst of flavor on your tongue.

* Smell a rose ~ embrace the aroma, feel the softness of its petals, admire its delicate beauty.

Cool-dance* Move to music ~ let each note seep into your being as you watch your body dance around.

* Listen to ambient sounds ~ the hum of your hard drive, the whisper of the wind, the ticking of a clock.

* Sense your skin ~ what is it telling you about the temperature of the air, the texture of your clothing, or the feel of your glasses, watch, and hair?

When we remind ourselves to mindfully connect with the HERE and NOW  through our marvelous senses . . .  inner peace surfaces of its own accord.

So . . .

Dance in the rain.  Watch a sunset.
Paint a picture.  Sing a song.
Laugh with a child.

Be Here Now.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

How do you re-connect with your bottomless reservoir of inner peace and joy?


1. Sandra Bell Kirchman - October 16, 2011

Helpful post, Nancy. Very supportive in my recently resurrected bid to be happy. Another way I’ve found to help me just feel happy is to get totally immersed in something fun – like multiplayer games on the computer (not Pogo, but more like Everquest or Lord of the Rings Online). Not everyone’s cup of tea, but it works for me (and my husband :P).

nrhatch - October 16, 2011

Anytime we are fully engaged with what we are doing ~ whether that’s chopping wood, carrying water, or playing a game with our inner child ~ we are “in touch” with the here and now.

Some games are more “relaxing” than others. 😉

2. Pocket Perspectives - October 16, 2011

These are really helpful ideas…thanks, Nancy! But, here’s something confusing to me…I think I’m easily right brained…in fact that logical left brain seems to be fading…but it’s hard to access that sense of peace or calm that’s more right brained…maybe the left brain that’s still functioning is a bit of a bully?..maybe so…practice I guess… I was just reading about “heartmath”… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pp-r_f8-qz8&feature=player_embedded ..sounds like that ties in with this too. ( I know some very bright, logical, analytical people who practice heartmath…so maybe I’ll check it out)

nrhatch - October 16, 2011

If I don’t feel peaceful, I watch my thoughts. I tune in and observe. I eavesdrop. Generally, if I feel agitated, I find that I am worrying about the future, or dwelling on the past, instead of experiencing the here and now.

As soon as I switch my focus to THIS MOMENT, my calm inner core resurfaces.

3. sufilight - October 16, 2011

Nancy, Enjyed reading this! I was juuust about to mention a HearthMath technique I use and noticed Kathy is also talking about it in her comments. 🙂 Yesterday, I was feeling irritated with my mate over something trivial (that’s what ego does!), and I didn’t want to carry that energy within me and spoil a pleasant trip in the car, so, I closed my eyes and remembered moments of fun and tenderness with my s/o, and I felt myself relaxing and heart opening. My mood shifted and we had a nice day. According to the Hearthmath experts this puts us back into balance.

At other times, as when dealing with business pressure, I stay in the moment and not project in the future and it helps me to get back into balance as well, in other words, depending on the situation, I use either a Hearthmath technique or the power of now.

I like to be reminded that its the left brain taking over when feeling pressured…

nrhatch - October 16, 2011

Beautiful points, Marie. Ego is prone to annoyances whenever it feels someone has “stepped on our toes.” Its great to have a technique to switch from ego’s arrogance to spirit’s compassion.

Picturing my heart opening and love flooding my being always makes me feel better.

Pocket Perspectives - October 17, 2011

powerful image there…”switching from ego’s arrogance to spirit’s compassion”….here you go… my take on that http://pocketperspectives.wordpress.com/other/to-switch-from-egos-arrogance-to-spirits-compassion/

nrhatch - October 17, 2011

Thanks, Kathy. Shall be around shortly.

4. jakesprinter - October 16, 2011

Listen to ambient sounds ~ the hum of your hard drive, the whisper of the wind, the ticking of a clock. I like this line 🙂

nrhatch - October 16, 2011

Thanks, Jake.

When we tune in to our senses, we lessen our stresses.

5. kateshrewsday - October 16, 2011

Another cracker tonight, Nancy. A reminder that our minds need a pause from restlessly roaming around thinking all the time. Thanks

nrhatch - October 16, 2011

We benefit from pressing the “pause” button whenever life feels like it’s stuck on “fast forward.”

Aah . . . that’s better.

6. Maggie - October 16, 2011

Laugh at anything you can! Or just smile. The simple act of smiling can make you feel better even if you don’t feel all that great.

nrhatch - October 16, 2011

You are so wise, Maggie! Smiling floods our brain with feel good chemicals that really give us something to smile about.

And laughing is one of the the best exercises in the world for avoiding “hardening of the attitudes.” 😆

7. souldipper - October 16, 2011

What a great contribution JBTaylor has given. I hope my mother’s last six years were the Nirvana that JBT defines.

nrhatch - October 16, 2011

I’ve often wondered whether I would have enjoyed life more as a “happy idiot.”

After reading her book, I’m thinking the answer might be “yes.”

8. Rosa - October 16, 2011

I’ve had a wonderful day of experiencing the moment! I took a hike with Sugarfoot in the forest and really just tried to shift my focus onto the sound of the wind through the trees, and onto the dirt beneath my feet!

nrhatch - October 17, 2011

Awesome! Hiking with mindful focus is a wonderful way to recharge our batteries. 😀

9. bluebee - October 16, 2011

Great post, Nancy. Listening to ambient sounds in an interesting one – it can also remind me of the passing of time, which sometimes creates more stress if I have deadlines. I enjoy de-stressing by walking outside and admiring people’s gardens, swimming on a hot day and drying off in the sun, having a cup of tea on the back verandah in the afternoon, (and hitting a golf ball when someone has really been annoying me :-D)

nrhatch - October 17, 2011

A ticking clock slows down my thoughts as I realize time is not racing as fast as it sometimes feels.

Rreading your de-stressing techniques relaxed me . . . walking, nature, swimming, sunning, teaing and teeing! Teeing off when someone has teed you off sounds FUN. 😀

10. flyinggma - October 17, 2011

I like to spend time with positive people especially outdoors walking and enjoying time together much like our afternoon with you and your BFF. Simple things, a less complicated life and helping others always brings more peace into my life. Mainly just getting the focus off of me and thinking of others and how to make their day better.

nrhatch - October 17, 2011

Excellent points and practices, Jeanne. We enjoyed walking, talking, and laughing with you and D. Simplicity helps ~ the less we have the more it means and the less splintered we feel.

Spreading compassion and loving kindness to others adds to our peace and well-being. We get when we give.

nrhatch - October 17, 2011
11. ElizOF - October 17, 2011

Breathe. Relax. Repeat. Definitely a great and helpful tool in stressful times. 😉

nrhatch - October 17, 2011

The constant rush of life takes its toll unless we remember to press the PAUSE button. Aah . . . that’s better.

12. Crowing Crone Joss - October 17, 2011

we tend to so complicate everything when really it’s about being present, being in the moment – you have a wonderful way of reminding us of the simple joy of ‘just’ being.
walk in beauty this day.

nrhatch - October 17, 2011

I think we started to lose touch with “reality” with the advent of the TV. Instead of sitting on the porch snapping beans in the cool evening, we huddled around a TV . . . with advertisements blaring. Over time, we desired bigger homes, and two cars, and needed TWO JOBS to pay for all the stuff to fill the rooms.

Reminding ourselves to slow down allows us to reconnect with who we really are . . . we stop consuming and start living from the source.

13. wordsfallfrommyeyes - October 17, 2011

All the comments are almost as interesting as your post! I read ‘The Power of Now’ near the beginning of this year. It made a difference…

nrhatch - October 17, 2011

Being present is powerful, indeed.

We are HERE. And it is NOW. What else is there? 😀

14. Linda - October 17, 2011

Brain yoga, heart math! heavens what is going on?

How about pet a shelter dog or cat 🙂 then take them home 🙂

nrhatch - October 17, 2011

Pets are a great way to connect with the NOW . . .

Thanks, Linda.

15. suzicate - October 17, 2011

So maybe this peace I’ve found for the majority of the last two years is the right side of my brain taking over my life? If I’d have realized this I’d have attempted a shift eons ago!

nrhatch - October 17, 2011

I expect so. But it may be more than that.

My hypothesis ~ our right brain is hooked in to the cosmic consciousness . . . the source of all that is. Our left brain separated us from this unity consciousness through our ego concerns and desires.

When we quiet the left brain and it’s ME mentality . . . we expand into a vast reservoir of peace and joy that we share with everyone else.

16. LittleMissVix - October 18, 2011

Great ideas, thanks!

nrhatch - October 18, 2011

When we press the “PAUSE” button on the ticker tape of thoughts streaming through our left brain, we re-energize our batteries. 😀

17. Judson - October 18, 2011

I just tried it and it worked! then the phone rang … arrrghhh!

nrhatch - October 18, 2011

Yay! It gets easier and easier, Judson. And the benefits are enormous.

Now, when I hear the phone ringing, I just observe it ringing . . . without bothering to answer the call. They’ll call back. 😉

18. 2e0mca - October 18, 2011

You missed ‘pick up you camera’ and ‘tickle the budgies’ 😉 We had lots of fun laughing with children on Satruday – like cubs, it always knocks 20 yrs off me 🙂

nrhatch - October 18, 2011

Laughing with kids (or like kids) is a great stress buster ~ melting away the years.

Photography is a wonderful way to connect with the here and now ~ unless our analytical brain takes over, forcing us to focus on technical proficiency instead of the art of the shot. 😉

19. Team Oyeniyi - October 26, 2011

or try and catch up on reading blogs you follow – I actually find it very de-stressing. It is 11.39pm and I am de-stressing by reading!

nrhatch - October 26, 2011

I find it relaxing too . . . as long as I’m not in need of sleep. 😉

20. Judith - October 26, 2011

Catching up after a few days away so you might get a raft of comments one after the other – or maybe not. As Team Oyeniyi says, catching up on reading blogs is very de-stressing. So I am doing so while waiting for a friend from out of town to arrive. 🙂

nrhatch - October 26, 2011

Enjoy your friend’s visit! Stop by any time. 😀

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