How to Stay Present: The 3FT RULE
We all run into those moments, where it seems like the whole world is going to explode. There are protest in Missouri, Hospitals burning in Aleppo, and an overwhelming homeless population expanding the store fronts down 5th avenue. You just can't escape the ills of the world. Even on a small scale, our own space may feel impeded on by setbacks, and missed steps. It is in these moments that being “present" is most important. Not to mitigate from the very realness of what is happening around us, rather the pursuit of a balanced mind.
What is my 3ft rule? I only focus on what is right in front of me.
Being mindful is not an easy feat, mostly because the idea of quieting our rattled minds and being in the now sounds like a lofty goal only achievable by monks. So in your mind you think, Yes, I’m giving up my life, I’m subletting my apartment, Im selling everything on craigslist, buying a plane ticket, and I'm becoming a fucking monk in Tibet, in hopes to become more present.
From experience, I reckon with a major barrier, the world doesn't stop. Especially here in New York City, we are continuously under sensory overload. In these moments I lean heavy on the 3ft rule. Telling myself, all I need to focus on right now is what is 3 feet in front of me, whether that be what I am working on, what I am reading, or the silence that is surrounding me. Especially in silence, do I remind myself to focus on my breathing, a simple body scan beginning at my feet, then quietly, and evenly, just breathing.
I know as daunting as this may sound, as we are all a bit angsty, and overwhelmed, but with practice, you and I can become more present, and more focused.