By far my most challenging aspect of living in peace is living in the present moment. Declaring that “there’s not enough time” never makes me feel better about what I’m trying to accomplish. If you’re at all like me, try these five mantras for presence instead. Heal your relationship with time, and I bet all of your relationships will benefit.
“Stop measuring days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence.” — Alan Watts
Where the demands of “clock time” keep us confined and oftentimes frazzled, presence keeps us open and grounded in abiding peace.
The interesting thing about being totally present is that productivity happens more naturally; creativity, joy, and connection are byproducts of deep presence. There’s a flow to everything we do because we’re in the flow. For me, flowing in the moment feels like I’m going with life instead of against it, and it makes all the difference in the quality of my life.
Presence of heart and mind is my deepest struggle, though I am on the right path and have traveled far. This is why I want to share these mantras for presence today; I know I’m not the only one walking the path from limitation to freedom, and I know how much better it feels to “make space” instead of “lose time.” It’s a practice, for sure.To transcend the pressures of time, we need a deeply supportive relationship with the present. Click To Tweet
These mantras for presence are inspired by the 21-Day Meditation Experience offered by Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey, Making Every Moment Matter. Though the meditations have already started, you can still join the movement.
I hope these mantras serve you as they continue to serve me. You can use them in your meditation practice or carry their wisdom with you throughout the day, using them as guides back to present-moment awareness.
5 Mantras for Presence to Heal Your Relationship with Time
1. The only real time is here and now.
Awareness is who we really are; we’re not the thoughts themselves, but the observer of the thoughts. This place and this time is truly the most precious and real space we can inhabit. Even when we think about the past or future, we’re thinking in the present moment. The thoughts may be elsewhere, but we are always here, now.
You are not the voice in your head. You are deeper, higher, and larger than that. In the presence that comes from this realization, there is clarity. Genuine present awareness is our essential nature, and the present moment is our home.“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.” — E.B. White Click To Tweet
2. All renewal occurs in the now.
So much of our mental and emotional activity is tied up in the memories of the past and fears concerning the future. To be free from the conditions of the past and the limitations of the future is to dispel the illusions of time. We can’t be free here if we’re stuck somewhere else.
The beauty of living “in the now” is that we interrupt the pathways of the past so that we can respond differently. We’re open to seeing new possibilities and making new choices, even if the situation seems the same. Unconscious beliefs and behaviors are made conscious when we become aware of them right here, in this space.
We are free to be new when we become completely present. It’s like there’s this clear space that contains everything; we feel life coursing through us. The wounds of time disintegrate. Emotional debts are healed. Reactions pause. Judgment stops. Stillness rules.“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” — Lao Tzu Click To Tweet
3. I heal my past by being in the present.
Beauty, gratitude, generosity—a few things that come alive in the present moment. They’re there between the layers of who we’ve learned to be, and who we’ve learned not to be.
Every time we get triggered into feeling anxious, angry, or negative in some way, we can pause and ask, “What is this experience here to show me?” This is one way to show up with awareness instead of operating on autopilot. Doing so reveals a pattern that’s allowed the space to unfold without resistance. Our disturbances lose their power when we take ours back.
Old wounds and drama can’t take on new life if we consciously recognize and release their unwanted effects. We can take some deep breaths, be aware, notice our emotions, notice how our body feels, and note our instinctive reactions to resist, retaliate, or run away. Though we may have been hurt in the past, our awareness isn’t damaged. Identifying with our presence rather than what’s happened to us is liberating beyond belief.“When you learn to live from your timeless self, every moment is healing.” @DeepakChopra Click To Tweet
4. I am present to receive the gifts of life.
We might declare that we “don’t have time” but all we’ve got is this moment. I’m beginning to see that what I don’t want to miss out on isn’t more time, but life itself. If I let any moment pass without my full acknowledgment and experience of it, that’s when I miss out on what matters. This is the only place that living really happens.
I can’t receive the gifts of life if I’m not even with life.
When we spend time in the past and future, we have to ask others to repeat themselves because we weren’t really listening. We keep grudges and bitterness close to us because we’re still in a moment that isn’t real anymore. We feel anxiety about what hasn’t happened.
There are opportunities lost because we’re not present: giving and receiving love, the experience of deeply-felt gratitude, free-flowing inspiration, and inner peace are a few.“One conscious breath in and out is meditation.” @EckhartTolle Click To Tweet
5. I make time today for my healing.
In my heart of hearts, I know that I make the time I have and I make the time I lose. I am a creator at my core; we are all creators. We can make ourselves free or trapped, limited or limitless, stressed out or centered.
I choose the belief that “time is running out” and I choose the belief that “time is flexible and expansive.” Ultimately, I create my experience.
There seems to be this overwhelming fear of lack that runs this world, and I catch myself believing in it every single day. When I practice connecting to ideas of abundance, however, life feels enough and I feel enough—everything I do and experience is enough. Feeling this way on purpose reminds me that I am more powerful than I used to give myself credit for, and I can choose the way I move through life right now, which is everything.
Bringing awareness to our beliefs about time (and everything else in the world) can liberate us to live differently. If we did nothing else but practice heightening our awareness, that would be enough for change. Control belongs to us once we realize it does.“Honor the space between no longer and not yet.” — Nancy Levin Click To Tweet
- In what ways do you experience the tension of time? Be honest and compassionate with what frustrations you encounter, because you’re not alone and awareness is the key to making a change for good.
- What phrases do you find yourself returning to when you feel the pressure of time? Can you think of one positive alternative you could use in its place? For example, I always go back to “I never have enough time to do anything.” When that happens, I’ve started saying, “I am making space.” It feels a LOT better.
Please share your thoughts, personal practices that help you stay present, positive mantras for presence that you could use to replace negative thoughts about time, and any helpful or inspiring stories of a shift with me in the comments.
Offer someone the gift of freedom from time, and share these mantras for presence with them.
When in the past, breathe in forgiveness. When in the future, breathe in hope. When in the present, breathe in life.