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Silly Smiles

By: Michael Blankenship |

“Nothing has to happen for me to feel good! I feel good because I’m alive! Life is a gift, and I revel in it.”

– Tony Robbins

Yesterday, I tied my shoelaces.


I know. 

Weak start. 

But I decided I was going to enjoy tying my shoelaces.

I didn’t do it on autopilot. I took my time, focusing on each loop and knot as if it was the most important thing I was doing. 

And it felt…good.

In that simple act, by being fully present, I discovered a small pocket of contentment. It was a reminder that sometimes, joy can be found in the most mundane tasks when we give them our full attention.

Our modern lives are perpetually chaotic. 

Our minds are bogged down by past regrets and future anxieties. 

This constant mental juggling detaches us from reality, making us spectators in our own lives.

We miss out on the actual experiences unfolding in front of us. 

Even special moments get missed. 

Sipping a rare vintage wine in a chateau might as well be drinking grape juice from a box if you’re not fully present. 

But tying your shoes can be pure euphoria if you’re there for it

We’re often thinking ahead or musing about past experiences.

And on top of that, endless notifications (from work or social media) pull our attention in different directions. 

All these factors divert our minds away from the now.

Here are some ideas on how you can practice being in the present

  • Hands-on experience — Engage in activities where you mold or shape something with your hands, be it gardening, kneading dough, or sculpting clay. The sensation and the manual transformation process can improve present-moment awareness.
  • Active listening — When someone’s talking to you, make an effort to truly listen. Avoid thinking about your response or letting your mind wander. Focus solely on their words and the meaning behind them.
  • Note-taking —  Carry a small notebook or use a note-taking app on your phone. Whenever you catch your mind wandering, jot down a brief note about where it went. This simple act of acknowledgment can help you redirect your attention to the present.
  • Focused breathing — Dedicate 2-3 minutes during various times of the day to focus solely on your breathing. Feel the air enter your nostrils, fill your lungs, and then be expelled. This can act as an anchor to the present.

These help me. 

They’ll help you, too. 🙂

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