My view during the experiment outlined in this post. (Also, why I love San Diego unconditionally).

Yesterday I spent some glorious relaxation time at Balboa Park, one of my favorite San Diego Bliss Stations. While sitting at an umbrellaed table with a view of a majestic museum, a gorgeous fountain, and a steady stream of camera-toting tourists, I was re-reading Jen Sincero’s book You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.  I love this book for its humor, its practicality, and its impetus to get out there and make things happen.
On page 38, Sincero is discussing the benefits of being present* and writes, “Stop and notice how you feel right now. Feel your breath moving in and out of your body. Feel the air on your skin. Feel your heart beating. Your eyes seeing. Your ears hearing. Notice the energy inside and outside of you buzzing.”
Even though I have told you similar things many times, it was a nice reminder for me and so I decided to take her advice and stop right then and there and be present in the moment.
This is what my “present” looked like and what I noticed**:
–A Persian family speaking Farsi pushing a stroller with a toddler in it who was sucking on a red pacifier.
–The bell tower striking 10:45.
–A rehearsal at the Organ Pavillion where the organist was playing music that sounded like something from a 1950’s horror movie.
–A plane from San Diego’s Lindbergh Field airport flying over my left shoulder.
–An expansive blue San Diego summer sky.
–The clop clop of that child’s flip flops.
–A slight breeze on my right forearm.
–Two female friends in Spanx-like activewear walking a majestic-looking, hip high dog.
–The ding of a bell on the cable-car-style trolley that carries tourists around the park.
–A small Hispanic woman in a straw hat taking pictures of the fountain with her iPhone.
–Four old guys at the table next to me talking histrionically about the 1960s.
–A European-looking man, maybe 23, wearing designer sunglasses and a European-looking neckless T-shirt snapping photos with his expensive-looking DSLR camera.
–A conservatively-dressed woman in her 60s with hair dyed a shade of punk rock purple that is too vibrant not to be on purpose.

This all happened within the space of three minutes or so. Stopping to notice my current present absolutely grounded me, calmed me, and brought me directly into the moment. I wasn’t worried about the obligations at home, paying bills, or health issues.

I was simply where I was.
So I challenge you to stop right this moment, use your senses, and recapture a bit of your life.

It isn’t hard. In fact, the hardest part is remembering to stop and do it.

That’s why I’m grateful I was reviewing Sincero’s book with its timely reminder.
And if you DO stop now and check in, please remember: it’s not about things being great. It’s about noticing—without judgment—the current present. Whatever that looks like in your world. It works as well during eating an apple or fighting with your spouse or sitting at a red light as it does while relaxing in the park.
Take a moment.
Notice what is. TZT
*I also like the book because it nicely aligns with The Zen Teacher message.  

**Two final thoughts: 1) We get most of our information from this world visually, so most of the images are visual, and 2) As a writer and former actor, people watching is second nature to me, so that’s why most of the images are of people. 


If you’d like to learn more about being in the present, reducing stress, and improving self-care, please check out The Zen Teacher: Creating Focus, Simplicity, and Tranquility in the Classroom here