“Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out I smile.
Dwelling in this present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment.”
This is a really simple but brilliant mindfulness exercise given by Thich Naht Hanh in his book Peace Is Every Step.
Whenever you feel regretful or sad about things in the past, and mistakes made, or when you find yourself worrying about things that haven’t happened yet, you can use this exercise to let go of your anxiety and rumination and ground yourself in the present moment. You can repeat the exercise a few times, connecting each line with your breath, in and out.
You can do this at your desk, sitting in a traffic jam, in a meeting or standing in a queue. It’s a great way to connect to your breath at any time of day.
Of course, you might be wondering what is so wonderful about the present moment! Good question! It’s worth taking a minute to think about it. What can we say?
Well, for starters, you are alive, and that already makes this present moment better than most of the present moments there have ever been. Sometimes, that is enough.
Chances are, unless you are in a war zone or trying to cross a busy road, you are physically safe and that is a bonus. You are may even be experiencing comfort, a lack of pain, lack of hunger and thirst if you are lucky.
Most of the time, if you look about, there is something you can take pleasure in – a pretty flower, a handsome tree, a friendly work colleague, your home comforts, children playing or people helping each other.
But best of all, in this present moment, none of the mistakes and losses of the past are real any more. None of the possible things that could go wrong in the future are real. The only thing that is real is what you can see, hear and feel right now, and most of the time, what you have right now in the present moment is pretty good.