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Practice Presence

Close up of lightbulb in a vintage light fixture in the hallway of La Mistinguette Studios.

If there was ever a time to practice being present, it is now.

There is a lot of uncertainty at this time.

Uncertainty about how life will change in the coming weeks and months, about what this will ultimately mean financially, and how this will affect the health of our friends and family, our clients (whom are also our friends and family), our-selves, our community, our city, state, country and the whole wide world actually.

With our wellness collectively as the very most important concern, we respect and agree with the decision to close our doors temporarily and have done so since Thursday last week.

As soon as it is considered safe to re-open, we will make sure to update you here.

Meanwhile, although for many of us, our livelihoods are being brought to a halt and we are navigating through the repercussions of that, little matters more than the health of the people we love and care about. Both of which are resulting in, whether apparent or underlying, a fairly constant state of panic. In prevention of said panic mode, try your hardest, not to focus only on the daunting ‘what if’s’ and the maybe’s and be as present as you possibly can be.

Of course I am not suggesting you move blindly through this. Do stay up to date with what steps can be taken to alleviate financial burdens and any new findings in regards to preventing getting, spreading and/or protocols for treating this novel virus. But at a time like this, the uncertainties of the future can be very overwhelming and even debilitating. Practicing being present helps reduce this anxiety. Use this very real reality check of not being able to control, well, anything really, except your actions and your thoughts by being more present than ever before. Your outlook, your mood, your health, relationships, your creativity, your productivity, and ability to have an impact will majorly benefit.

Here are some examples of what being more present in our daily routines look like. These are all common daily events that can be practiced by those of us whose schedule has drastically changed by being limited by work restrictions and an order to stay home as well as are still good practices for those of you who do not have the luxury of staying home right now.

Be most present while you’re doing your home chores (and cross contamination prevention disinfecting routine) by considering the knowledge and materials it took to build your home, the design and craftsmanship it took to make your furniture and décor. Notice the manpower, the skills, the expertise.

Take a walk outside. Look up, enjoy the sky. If you have nature in your neighborhood, take a moment to investigate it. See how it grows, how it loves the sun, or finds protection from another plant from it. Marvel at the incredible details of each stem, each leaf, each petal and the amazing-ness that it is.

While you take a shower, appreciate not only access to clean hot water, but feel the water. Get a good lather going, exfoliate from head to toe and watch the water expose healthy vibrant skin. Become aware of every drop, and how good it feels rolling down your skin. Notice how soothing, relaxing and cleansing this feels. Appreciate every inch of your skin and every muscle and take time to massage moisturizer onto your face and body. Slip into your cutest most comfortable clothes. Maybe no one will see you today unless you facetime or zoom but you’ll feel neat yet relaxed and all of your organs will appreciate loose fitting clothing.

Prepare some food. Wash your fruits and veggies, notice how incredible and unique they are. Find a new recipe online or from a friend. Decide how you want to chop the veggies and do so carefully and mindfully. Even if you do not cook something fresh, take a moment to read the ingredients of the package, imagine them in their original form and where on earth (literally) they came from. Have gratitude for access to all the tools and machinery to cook simply and quickly in the comfort of your home. Enjoy the aromas that fill your kitchen and your home. Crack a window open. Feel the contrast of the warmth of your stove or oven, and the freshness of the outdoors. Give thanks to the earth for producing the nutrients you need to feed your body. Have gratitude for the time it took to go from seed to harvest to your local store to your home. Savor your creation, and waste nothing. Be thankful to every cell in your body that takes this food and makes it become part of you.

Find ways to contribute. Donate time or money if applicable. Start or complete your home projects. Organize that drawer, desk or closet. Play your favorite music. Dance. Bob your head to the beat and get back to the project. Work on work stuff if you can. Take a break each hour, re-indulge in your music. Share important information with others. Connect with loved ones. Get curious, ask questions you’ve never asked before. (If you need some help with that use Arthur Arons 36 questions) Stop what you’re doing, sit in a comfortable place, encouragingly listen. Remind them what you love about them and why they’re important to you. Play a game. Together review underlined parts of the recent books you’ve read.

Lay in bed. Allow the mattress and covers to hug you. Listen to the sounds of stillness, and the moving cars, and your neighbors. Have gratitude for your bed, your house, for nature, for the planet, for your loved ones and your pets, for your experiences, for the people working hard to keep us safe and healthy.

If there was ever a time to practice being present, it is now.

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