My Favorite Way to Practice Being Present

Do you want to live more in the moment? Do you want to savor the present?

I do, too. But damn – it’s easy to be reading a book, drinking your morning coffee or walking the dog and your mind is off in a million other places. Whether it’s the to-do list that lies ahead in the future or you’re replaying something you wish you’d said or done differently the night before, getting your mind to stay here in the present can be a frustrating battle.

But that’s how we end up saying, “Where did the time go?” That’s how vacations fly by too quickly. How time with your family or friends you don’t see often is here and gone in an instant.

How can you practice being present? Here’s a practical way to learn to enjoy the moments as they come:

Watch a sunset.

Watch several sunsets.

Make it a daily practice. Try to see a sunset, or sunrise, at any chance you can.

I’ve always enjoyed watching the sun go down. I mean, do you know anyone who doesn’t enjoy a beautiful sunset when they get to see it?

But it’s typically not something you hear people going out of their way to make a habit of. It’s not like we’re saying, “I’m going to hit the gym after work three days this week and make sure I catch four sunsets.”

Sunsets are more of an in-the-moment thing. You don’t actually think of it until you look up from your phone or laptop and see that the sky is a beautiful mirage of pinks and oranges in place of the clear blue it was only 10 minutes ago.

The sunsets are so beautiful in Arizona that I’ve become that weird-o who says she’s going to go catch the sunset after her workout. I’ve made more of an effort to prioritize those 30 minutes of sky transformation, timing Yoshi’s walks so we can see the changing colors. Or I’ll do my yoga video in my apartment during that half hour of sunset, looking out at the mystic backdrop of downtown Phoenix.

Sunrises and sunsets are physical proof of how fast things change, of how quickly moments pass. You look up at the sky for a moment, then just a minute later it’s a completely different color combination. And before you know it, the sky is dark. Or light.

When you notice the sun setting, stop whatever you’re doing.

Stop for a moment.

Take it in. Watch the time pass. Enjoy the moment before it becomes a memory.

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