ARE YOU PRESENT? / by Alison Capra


“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

Ever wonder if you are truly present in every moment?

For a large part of my life I've felt like I am watching a screenplay of my own life... present only for personal thought provoking commentary behind the scenes (in my head). Maybe that is why I make a pretty good photographer. I still remember the first time I heard the term "fly on the wall" referring to photojournalism. It sounded just right. I can stick myself in the mix of someone else's party, event, wedding and watch their moments behind layers of glass.

Don't get me wrong, I love my job. But I don't want to miss anything. I don't want to miss my own life. I want to live VIBRANTLY in every moment. Maybe you're and introvert, or a thinker. Sometimes it's hard for a "thinker" to keep herself fully involved in every situation of life. Experiencing all of the good stuff. Finding the place, the person, with whom you "fit”

I believe as the years go by, we can get so caught up the day to day... The mundane, the chores, the cat videos. The social media. We forget to be connected with our lives, our relationships, and our heart. Don't be a miserable cow.

Three ways to be more actively present in your daily life!

1. Take Phone Breaks

 Obviously we all have to work and most of us do our work on our phone these days. I literally run about 7 different social media accounts on about 10 different platforms. I use my phone for EVERYTHING.However, when it's time to connect with your partner, your kids or even yourself... Leave your phone in another room. I try to give myself full breaks away from phone to listen to my own thoughts. Is amazing how many good ideas that start to flow when I open up my mind to creative thought.

2. Eat Meals at the Table

 I don't know what happened, when families started moving dinner from the table  to the couch, but I HATE it! Nick and I have always believed that there is something almost spiritual about sharing a meal with friends and family. A glass of wine, a delicious meal and a simple "How was your day?" can open the evening up to endless relationship possibilities. It's in the real conversations about one another's day that we can pick up on the things going on in our kids lives, our partner's lives or our friend's lives. THIS is the kind of stuff that you CANNOT pick up through a text message.

3. Look EM' in the EYE

 People communicate more with their eyes than even words. They truly are windows to our souls. We find it easier or maybe just less intrusive to look away when people are talking. Maybe it makes us feel less vulnerable. But there is no better way to communicate insignificance to the people in our lives then to look away when they are speaking. Letting ourselves become distracted when we need to be engaged will ruin friendships and ultimately remove us from the present.

I challenge you, as I challenge myself. Don't forget to connect with your life, your art, your music, your writing, your heart, your little people, your friends, your people. Take the time to listen, watch, and enjoy.

What do you want to do more than anything else?

One life. That's all we've got. Don't miss everything.