Two Mantras to Use to Bring Yourself to the Present Moment

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Sometimes when I’m meditating and I notice I’m getting lost in thought, I let myself go with it. I want to see where it will take me. The story it will tell. The details that’ll unfold. 

It’s not always easy to be there. A lot of the time it’s not. The thoughts that like to draw me in are the ones of worrying, or the overthinking that accompanies concern.

But there’s always something important there. Something I can learn. So, I’ll let my attention drift along and see what rises up.

But, it’s also important not to get consumed by it completely. The point is to watch it. Learn from it. Discover the lesson. Find a way to be with it, without unknowingly totally getting sucked into it. 

In order to pull ourselves back from these moments—to unbind, detach, and extract ourselves from the thick of it—we have to be able to separate enough to notice what’s happening. 

Sometimes when we first notice we’re lost in it, it’s enough to just gently guide our attention back to the moment. Return to the breath, or the silence, or the sounds of the world around us.

Other times, it can help to have a more tangible, physical reminder. Sometimes, even verbally with words.

Last week, one morning when I was running, the words “I’m here” popped into my head. I don’t know what I was thinking about, but probably something that didn’t feel particularly good or beneficial.

I repeated those words as a mantra throughout my entire run. Reminding myself that I wasn’t in, or with, or ruled by, those thoughts inside my head. 

I was there. Just there. Moving and breathing. 

It kept me in the present.

Another line I like to use—especially in particularly intense, difficult moments—is “I’m breathing.” Simple, but powerful. Direct. 

It can be easy to forget when whatever we’re dealing with, or thinking about, feels big or overwhelming. In those kinds of moments, it often feels like we’re not breathing at all.

But we are. As long as we’re living, we’re breathing. We always have our breath.

We’re here, right now, in this moment. And we’re breathing. 

We always have our breath.