Trying to be present

“The measure of a man is his ability to sit still in a quiet room.”

I read this somewhere when I was a kid. And I’ve thought about it a lot. Recently I’ve been thinking about it in regards to the impulse to check my phone in any quiet moment that comes up during the day.

It’s a terrible impulse that I’ve recently redoubled my efforts to fight. I want to mindful. I want to be present in the moment. It’s hard.

I’m reminded of quitting smoking. The best advice I got about quitting smoking is that the craving will pass. Just wait it out. Survive 10 minutes, 20 minutes. The craving will pass. This same process I’m now using to fight my phone.

My current mantra is, “Be present. Be present.” I repeat this to myself. “Be present. Be present.” Think about where I am. I try and just experience the world around me. I don’t want to dwell on the past. I don’t want to worry about the future. I just want to be present. Focus on my breath. Hear the world around me. Feel the sensations in and on my body. Without judgement, without assigning anything a value of good or bad. Just be present. I want to do what I’m doing and focus on that.

It’s hard.

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