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  • Tiffany Marlink

How to be present

My boyfriend and I had a classic trip to Costco recently. It felt like a live action video game that included dodging zombies. The added bonus was that it was free sample time!

Everything started out normal enough. We wandered past the people rummaging through the stacks of jeans and flannels. Then as we past the blender live demo, things began to change. The first sample station we passed was offering little smokies in BBQ sauce. It seemed like the world had stopped turning for a handful of individuals. They stood like vultures waiting for the sweet sample lady to place one in a baking cup. She couldn’t even get them set down on the tray before someone would snatch the morsel out of her hand.

By the time we reached the meatball station, it was clear that it was every man for himself. I watched one individual stop his motorized shopping cart right in the middle of the aisle way. Then he walked over to wait for a meatball to finish cooking. I couldn’t tell if people were more upset that someone had cut in front of them in line or the fact no one could get by.

When we cleared the last sample station, I was glad that the people dodging was almost over. I knew we only had a few more aisles and the checkout lanes to navigate. We were standing near the edge of the aisle deciding whether to buy canned chicken or turkey. When suddenly a woman walked right into our cart! I had seen her texting and wandering but figured she’d look up at some point. Plus, we weren’t even moving. The best part was the look on her face when we locked eyes. She was clearly pissed at us for being in her way!

Do you ever feel like you’ve slipped into a trance? If you answered yes, I’d like you to join me for a little experiment today. I want you to set a reminder for every hour or two. When it goes off, I would like you to pause and check in with yourself and your surroundings.

How do you feel?

What are you doing?

Where are you?

I also would like you to write down one thing that is standing out for you. It can be anything. A color, number, person, conversation, smell, taste, etc. Whatever is top of mind.

These don’t have to be long drawn out notes. Write down a couple things and then carry on with your day. The goal is to bring yourself back into the current moment and increase your self-awareness.

The last thing I would like you to do is look back at your notes at the end of the day.

Is there anything that is standing out for you?

Any themes or patterns?

How would you rate your level of presence for the day?

Congratulate yourself for any wins and have compassion for any challenges.

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