Unlock the Power of Presence: 11 Practical Tips for Mindful Living

alignment presence Nov 29, 2023

If you spend all your energy trying to make things different than they are, you’ll never enjoy what is.

In this blog, we explore the art of infusing more presence into your life through mindful living. From simple yet powerful breathing exercises to immersive activities that engage your senses, we present 11 accessible and practical ways to foster mindfulness in your day-to-day routine. 

Join us on this journey to discover how cultivating a mindful approach can enhance your overall well-being, bringing a sense of clarity, calmness, and gratitude to each moment.

                     What does it mean to be present?

Presence is what’s here, when the mind isn’t trying to be there. Or in other words, presence is the absence of any resistance to what is. Presence is alignment with what is.

Presence is our natural state, underneath the mind’s conditioned stories and emotions. It’s calm, peaceful, clear and open. It’s a direct experience of the moment as it is, without any labels or judgements, without any worry, without any stories that things should be different, without any reference to the past or future, without distraction, without being lost in your thoughts or emotions.

                 Why it can be difficult to live in the moment

Most people live imprisoned by their thoughts. The mind says jump, so they jump. They believe everything their thoughts tell them about the world, about others and about who they are. 

It’s an exhausting and painful way to live. 

We live in a world where this is normal. So of course it’s difficult to live in the moment. How could you when your mind is running the show 24/7? Constantly trying to figure out what to do next? Constantly thinking about what you should have done differently? Constantly looking for more happiness, validation, approval, success? Constantly coming up with new things to worry about?

As Eckhart Tolle says, “The greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life.” 

But we’re afraid life will fall apart if we let go of control.

Does it though? 

Are you willing to find out for yourself? What might change if you spent less time and energy focused on the past and future? If you let the joy of the moment lead you? 

Would life fall apart? Or would it start flowing easier, smoother and more beautifully?

As someone who’s been meditating for 10+ years and has shifted from living in worry, control and anxiety 24/7 to living in the now, allowing life to unfold and trusting that I’ll do what needs to get done in the right moment, I can tell you that my life hasn’t fallen apart. 

It’s only gotten better, easier and more beautiful. And more importantly, I feel more at peace, happy and free than ever before. 

Yes, it can feel difficult to live more in the moment because we’re so used to the voice in the head having complete power over us; but it’s possible and it’s a lot simpler than the mind would make it out to be.

Being present requires letting go of control

Nature flows and creates without our mind’s control. Babies transform from an egg into a body with limbs, organs and a heart without our mind’s control. The sun comes up every day without our mind’s control. Our hearts keep beating without our mind’s control.

Life doesn’t have to be worried about, controlled and efforted constantly in order to work out. We can learn to let go, allow and trust the deeper part of us (our natural intelligence or intuition) to guide us in each moment.

As you do, you’ll find dramatic shifts and improvements in many areas of your life and how you feel. As the mind loses its power over you, the anxiety and unhappiness it was creating begins to subside and you can be with and enjoy people and experiences in a deeper way, as you are able to flow with and allow whatever arises in the present moment.

                 Benefits of practicing mindfulness: 7 reasons why being present is everything 

1. Access true, lasting joy 

The only time and place you can ever find peace and happiness is here, now. It doesn’t come from getting “there”; it’s what’s already HERE, when you stop trying to get “there”. 

Presence is how you access the happiness and peace that always has been, always is and always will be within you, right here, right now.

2. Transmute pain into wisdom

The first step in transmuting pain, discomfort, suffering and negativity into freedom, lightness and wisdom is to recognize each feeling as it arises. If we know how to become aware of our feelings as they arise and observe them, we can transmute them. 

The agent that does this is presence. Otherwise, these feelings stay stuck and rob us of our peace, joy and ease, and keep us caught in unhelpful reactions.

3. Unlock your intuition

Presence is the gateway to our intuition, the part of us that knows the aligned action or decision in any given moment. When the mind is busy and emotions are jumbled, it clouds our natural clarity and intelligence.

When we’re present, we’re clear. We can hear, feel or sense a knowing from within. It’s the difference between trying to see through a dirty window and a window that’s just been power washed and cleaned to perfection with windex.

4. Experience the magic & beauty of life 

Have you ever opened your eyes after meditating to realize the sun shines brighter? The water on the river sparkles more? The flowers burst with color and beauty? The trees dance with aliveness? The birds chirp with glee? 

Life becomes alive, magical and beautiful with presence.

5. Amplifies joy in everyday, ordinary moments

Every experience, thought and action, in the light of presence, becomes sacred. The most ordinary moments, like washing the dishes or putting away laundry, can be joyful when we’re fully living in the moment, not rushing to get done or get somewhere.  

We no longer have to always be waiting for the “extraordinary”, yet illusory, future. We can have joy now.

6. Transformed relationships & true connection

Blaming, criticizing and arguing have no positive effect. It often just creates more disconnection, misunderstanding and frustration. If you’re present, you can understand the other person. 

If you can understand, you can show compassion and love, you can actually listen, you can act naturally in a way that reconnects you with others and the situation can shift.

7. See beyond problems & worry and into freedom

Joy is not a destination; it’s the absence of one. The ultimate freedom is being able to experience this moment without needing it to be different or making it a problem. 

This is presence. This is where problems and worry don’t exist. And this is how life becomes wonderful.

                 How to be more present: 11 ways to infuse more presence into your daily life

The first 3 methods serve as the most fundamental practices, adaptable in any situation or moment. The remaining techniques offer simple yet influential ways to infuse mindfulness into your daily life. It's important to note that these fundamental practices remain the cornerstone and essential element in these additional practices.

The 3 fundamental mindfulness practices

1. Conscious breathing 

When you notice your mind has gone down a rabbit hole, spend a few minutes consciously breathing. FEEL your breath come in as you inhale, FEEL your breath out as you exhale (the idea is to experience the breath directly rather than think about breathing). Breathing is the bridge between our mind and body, bringing them back on the “same page”, allowing us to feel whole again.

If it feels good, you can try taking big inhales through the nose and sigh out deeply (or make the “haaaaahh” sound) as you let go and exhale.

You can take 3 conscious breaths throughout the day or practice for as long as it feels natural when you remember and/or infuse conscious breathing into your meditation practice. 

2. Tune into your 5 senses 

Good opportunities to practice this are while cooking, making coffee, on a walk, etc. For example, if you're making coffee, you might feel the warm mug in your hand, see the brown color, smell the aroma, hear the drip of the coffee maker and taste the bold first sip. Don't just think about what you're experiencing; actually experience it through the senses (feel the warm mug in your hands versus thinking "this mug is warm").

You can also choose 1 of your senses to focus on like sound. Breathe, notice and listen to the sounds present. If you get distracted, just bring your awareness back to the sounds and listen. The practice is to keep coming back to this moment.

3. Inner energy awareness

Direct your awareness into the body and notice any sensations, emotions or energies present. Directly feel and experience what you're aware of, while breathing. For example, if you feel heaviness in the chest, place your awareness there and feel the heaviness. If you feel a pit in the stomach, place your awareness there and feel the “pit”. The moment any stories or thoughts arise in the mind, gently redirect your attention back into the body, back to feeling. Practice for a few seconds or as long as it feels natural.

Feel free to save this Instagram reel for when you need a quick reminder to come back to the present.


Additional Mindfulness Practices To Be More Present 

4. Meditation 

Meditation is one of the most effective ways to become more present. But there’s a lot of misunderstanding that meditation is about always sitting in a state of calm. When approached this way, it becomes just another way we repress our emotions and stay stuck in the mind’s stories, which clouds our ability to be present.

I like to approach meditation as the practice of being with whatever arises. When you practice meditation in this way, real and lasting transformation becomes possible and an ever-increasing sense of presence and peace can arise.

Here’s a super quick, effective meditation you can do anytime you want to come back to the present moment: 

You can do this meditation sitting or walking. Start with conscious breathing. FEEL your breath come in as you inhale, FEEL your breath out as you exhale. As you continue breathing, tune into your senses. Hear what you hear. Feel what you feel. Taste what you taste. Smell what you smell. See what you see (you can open your eyes for this one). 

Spend a few breaths experiencing each. As you continue breathing, direct your awareness into the body and notice any sensations, emotions or energies present. Directly feel and experience what you're aware of, while breathing. The moment any stories arise in the mind, gently redirect your attention back into the body, back to feeling.

To help you remember and practice this on your own, this meditation is just a combination of conscious breathing, tuning into the 5 senses and inner energy awareness.

Practice this meditation for just a minute or 2 or as long as it feels natural. It’s amazing how much this simple meditation can shift your energy and experience of the moment. 

If you want a guided version of this meditation, check out The 3 Fundamentals Of Presence Meditation in But First, Exhale.

5. Ritual stacking

While you’re making your morning coffee (or doing any other regular ritual of yours), take deep conscious breaths while infusing presence into each step of the process. Hear the beans in the grinder, watch the brown liquid drip into the pot, feel the warm mug in your hands, smell the familiar aroma, taste the strong first sip. Give all of your attention to the step you’re taking at THAT moment.

You can infuse the first 3 fundamental practices into any rituals you already do in your daily life like showering, brushing your teeth, cooking, folding laundry, getting ready, etc.

Here’s a reel I made for Instagram on how to use getting ready to become more present:


6. Use waiting to take you deeper into presence

Anytime you’re waiting (in line, at a red light, etc), you can use it to take you deeper into presence. Practice 1 or all 3 of the 3 fundamentals. Give all of your attention to the now. With a little practice, waiting no longer feels like waiting, it feels like being and enjoying the moment.

7. Let life remind you

Every time you see a stop sign or red light, let it be a sign to pause, take a few intentional deep breaths and give your attention to this moment.

Feel free to get creative with any other signs or symbols you see regularly throughout your day.

8. Mindful eating: how to bring mindfulness to your meals 

Eat slowly and savor each bite. Pay attention to the flavors, textures, colors, smells and sensations. Breathe. Pay attention to how your body feels. Notice when you begin to feel satisfied. Notice if you begin to feel full.

9. Mindful movement: incorporating mindfulness into your workouts

Working out is a great time to practice the 3 fundamentals. Breath intentionally, making sure to exhale on the “effort”. For example, with a bicep curl, you’d want to exhale as you curl, then inhale as you lower back down.

Pay attention to the sensations in your body and the breath as you move. Feel your feet on the ground. If there’s music, listen to and feel the music in your body. If your mind goes down a rabbit hole, come back to the breath and direct your awareness into the sensations in your body. The basic practice is to just keep coming back to this moment any time the mind gets distracted.

I share more about mindful movement in this blog 

10. Spend time in nature

Nature has a powerful way of reconnecting us with the present moment. Go for a walk, hike or just sit in nature and take it in. Breathe consciously and experience the sights, sounds, and smells. Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth with each step.

11. Digital detox

Take breaks from your phone and/or social media. You could take a 1 or 2 week break from social media (or even just a day). Or put your phone on silent and put it in a drawer for a few hours at night. Or go on a phone-free date night with your partner. Or practice not looking at your phone while engaged in other activities or with other people.

             Living In The Moment Quotes

These are some of my favorite mindfulness quotes and reminders to live in the moment.

“There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.” - Thich Naht Hanh, Peace Is Every Step 

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” - Eckhart Tolle, The Power Of Now

“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love - even the most simple action.” - Eckhart Tolle, The Power Of Now

“Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment.” - Deepak Chopra

“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.”  – Dalai Lama

“The only time and place you can ever find happiness is here, now. Happiness doesn’t come from getting there; it’s what’s already HERE, when you stop trying to get there. - Madison Arnholt

                 Mindfulness apps & resources to support your practice

But First, Exhale: Meditation App

Spiritual guided meditations for inner peace, emotional balance & intuitive clarity. Download the app to start a free 14 day trial today.

12 Days Of Presence: Online Mindfulness Class

12 days of intentional practices to cultivate more peace and presence in your everyday life.

Free Alignment Guide: Instant PDF Download

7 simple daily practices to cultivate more alignment, inner peace and presence, starting today. 

Aesthetic Daily Reminders: Printable Wall Art

Create a daily reminder to live with presence, joy and intention and add a little extra beauty to your home with these spiritual wall art prints. 

Peace Is Every Step: Book

This book is light, easy to read and filled with simple practices to deepen your presence.

“Lucidly and beautifully written, Peace Is Every Step contains commentaries and meditations, personal anecdotes and stories from Nhat Hanh’s experiences as a peace activist, teacher, and community leader. Nhat Hanh provides exercises to increase our awareness of our own body and mind through conscious breathing, which can bring immediate joy and peace.”

The Power Of Now: Book

This is the ultimate book on accessing the power now. I’ve read it 3 times and each time, it has a deep impact on my life and moment to moment experience of life.

“It's no wonder that The Power of Now has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 30 foreign languages. Much more than simple principles and platitudes, the book takes readers on an inspiring spiritual journey to find their true and deepest self and reach the ultimate in personal growth and spirituality: the discovery of truth and light.” 

                 Conclusion: embracing the now for a more joyful and fulfilling life

As we conclude this exploration into infusing more presence into your daily life, I invite you to remember that mindfulness is not a destination but a continuous journey. 

As you integrate these practices into your everyday life, may you be patient with yourself and find that they not only transform your daily experiences but also bring about a profound shift in your overall experience of life, allowing you to navigate it with greater clarity, peace, and joy.

If this blog resonated or created a positive shift for you, let us know in the comments.

And if you're looking for more support with mindfulness, check out 12 Days Of Presence.  

7 Days Of Alignment: Free Guide

7 simple daily practicesĀ to cultivate more alignment, inner peace and presence, starting today.


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