GUEST BLOG! 🌷 How-To: Be More {Present} In The Moment By Ana Karen Ramirez

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. – Philippians 4:6

I have recently been reflecting more & more on this particular topic & how it is becoming an increasing struggle for many people around the world. I think for many of us it is easy to get caught up in our day-to-day responsibilities and obligations when we have so much on our “to-do” lists that we become distracted from the things & people that are right in front of us. Not to mention the frequent news updates and social media posts that distract us from our own reality. How much of our lives are spent either dwelling on the past or focusing on the future? To be truly present requires self-awareness, initiative, and a whole lot of prayer!

“Instead of trying to direct God to do this and that, we should seek to attune ourselves to what He is already doing.”

How many times do we look to others and think: why can’t I have that? Why can’t I be like them? Etc. etc.  This need to compare ourselves to what others have can easily take away from living in the present.  By practicing being more present, instead of looking at what we don’t have, we must look around and see just how much God is blessing us with already.  Being present can be hard.  It is so tempting to think about all we have to do or all of our worries.  {Common example: let’s say a coworker comes up to me for help or a friend is in need, but I am too worried about what I have on my to do list that I fall into the selfish act of not giving another person the attention they deserve.}

“If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other” Mother Teresa

Practice selfless acts by becoming more present with the people around you.  We never know what moment can be our last, why not live each moment as if it were our last?  To be truly present is to live in the love that surrounds us & practice gratitude –this allows us to be in tune with the little glimpses of heaven God allows us to enjoy here on earth.   In each moment we should as ourselves: “Am I loving enough?”

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Below are some simple tips that have helped me be more present in the moment.

1. Remove distractions – as obvious at this may be, our cell phones have become huge attention stealers that as a result make us miss out on the beautiful moments that our occurring in front of our eyes. The next time you are out with a group of people, take a look around. As soon as the conversation fades, do the cell phones come out? Watch as people wait in line at the grocery store, do they initiate conversations? or do the cell phones come out? Next time you are in an elevator with a stranger… do you feel tempted to pull out your cell phone to avoid the ‘awkward silence’? (I know I do!) Putting the phone down and away is something that requires a conscious effort for me personally and so I encourage you next time you are about to pull out your phone, say a prayer, look around, start a conversation, smile at a stranger, embrace the moment!

2. Quiet the Mind– I started incorporating mediation into my every day routines about a year ago and I looooove it. Whether it’s the first thing I do in the morning or something I do quickly as I wait in line for my lunch, it consistently helps bring inner peace to my heart, mind and soul. I recently read an article on a topic called “Sensation Meditation.” It basically talked about how we can engage all of our senses in order to become more self-aware of our present (this can literally be done anywhere, at any time.) The trick is to start with one sense. Close your eyes. What do you hear? Are there bird’s chirping? Vehicles driving? Do you smell anything in particular? Perhaps flowers? Food? What do you feel? Do you feel the wind blowing through your arms? Etc. Etc. Taking a few moments to empty your mind and be still can surely help bring inner and outer peace. And being at peace helps us be more engaged in the present

3. Practice Random Acts of Kindness & Senseless Acts of Beauty!

 “Our Lord does not so much look at the greatness of our actions, or even at their difficulty, as at the love with which we do them.” –St. Therese of Lisieux

Practicing random kindness is an effective way to get in touch with the joy of giving without expecting anything in return. Try to seek opportunities throughout the day in which you can express kindness in the simplest ways. Whether it be to a family member, friend, co- worker or a complete stranger, there are millions of ways in which you can demonstrate small acts of kindness. It can be as simple as saying “good morning” to someone at the store, giving a genuine compliment, holding the door for someone, or even going out of your way to help make someone’s day a little easier. The possibilities are endless and you will see that these small acts of kindness can change someone’s entire day (including your own!

4. Practice gratitude– Hands down first thing I do every morning is give thanks. Recently my fiancé and I have been holding each other accountable by sharing with each other one thing we are grateful for every morning. Ask yourself: In this very moment, how can I thank somebody or how can I show gratitude right here right now?

“There is always something to be grateful for, even if some days you have to look a little harder.”

5. Don’t sweat the small stuff– (fun fact: the title to this last tip was inspired by a book that was recommended to me by Karla which I have found to be very helpful in writing this blog). While “to-do” lists are a practical way of helping us stay organized, it is important that we do not allow our desire to check things off the list overpower or replace the actual moments that we are living in. We often want to cram in as much as we can in order to be as productive as possible, but at what cost? In reality, there are always going to be errands to run, chores to complete, and phone calls to make. Even Jesus left this world with work unfinished! Maybe we don’t always have to get everything done to be “happy” or “content”, but really being more present with the people and moments around us will.

The-pause

Do not conform to the pattern of this word,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what
God’s will is- his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
Romans 12: 2

I hope you found a tip that you liked and that you think will help you truly be present and enjoy the precious moments that God has given us! I would love to hear any tips/suggestions that have worked for you!

Thank you for reading!

Also, I quickly want to thank Karla for being such an inspiration for me and for many women in our community! God is truly doing some amazzzing things with her heart and I am soo blessed to know and be such great friends with someone as special as her! Love you tons Kar!

God bless you all, always!

 Ak

About the Author

This week we have a special Guest Blog Post! 🌷And I am so happy & excited I get to introduce to you my dear friend and former roomie, Ana Karen Ramirez! Not only is she beautiful on the outside, she has possess a great beauty within her soul, which never fails to shine upon her face! 💖 She has been a true inspiration in my life to grow closer to God & always strive to be the best-version-of-myself.  Her friendship means the world to me! She has continually taught me the importance of women empowering women! I am so happy she accepted the call to support The Power of The Little Flower & join me on this journey!   

Here is a little bit about my dear friend! ☺️:

IMG_1554

  • Ana Karen is 24-years-old, recent grad, engaged!, family-girl, “foodie”, auntie!
  • Goes by the nickname of: AK
  • Favorite flower: Tulips! 🌷
  • Occupation: Speech Pathologist
  • Hobbies: Exercising/working out, reading, sleeping!
  • If you could be the patron saint of anything what would you be of?
    • LOL probably work- out clothes! I literally have more work- out clothes than regular clothes.
  • If you could have dinner with ANYONE (living or dead), who would it be?Michelle Obama, Mother Teresa & Chance the Rapper!
  • Favorite bible verse or quote? Romans 8: 38-39
  • Favorite prayer?
    • Prayer to the Holy Spirit
      • Come, Holy Spirit, fill my heart with Your holy gifts. Let my weakness be penetrated with Your strength this very day that I may fulfill all the duties of my state conscientiously, that I may do what is right and just.  Let my charity be such as to offend no one, and hurt no one’s feelings; so generous as to pardon sincerely any wrong done to me. Assist me, O Holy Spirit, in all my trials of life, enlighten me in my ignorance, advise me in my doubts, strengthen me in my weakness, help me in all my needs, protect me in temptations and console me in afflictions. Graciously hear me, O Holy Spirit, and pour Your light into my heart, my soul, and my mind. Assist me to live a holy life and to grow in goodness and grace. Amen. 

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