When I think of the word presence, I don’t really think of fun. Maybe that’s true for you, too. I think of someone sitting in a lotus position meditating, trying to let the thoughts go and coming back to their breath. That doesn’t sound like FUN to me. Peaceful, yes. But fun, no. But what if I told you that when we’re having fun, we’re actually in the present moment? Today we’re going to be talking about FUN and what it has to do with being more present and some ideas for what it can look like in your life.
I’m Rebecca Thompson Hitt and this is Fun Friday on the All Relationships Can Heal podcast. Today’s conversation is inspired by a conversation I had with Ray Castellino about present time and fun recently. Ray Castellino is a dear friend and colleague, co-founder of BEBA, and co-creator of the Little People, Big Challenges series with Mary Jackson through The Consciously Parenting Project.
Being present is often referred to in many different contexts about healing. We have all heard the expressions about living in the past or worrying about the future, but what do they have to do with healing? Unless someone truly figures out time machines and we can go back into the past or ahead into the future, the only moment we truly have is what’s happening right now. We can’t go back and make something different that has already happened, but the ripples of the things that have happened in the past CAN be shifted in the present moment. The story can be acknowledged and rewritten in a more accurate way. Many of our patterns from the past are still living in us now and have a way of hijacking what’s happening now, taking us out of the present. So, the more we can practice being present, being in the now, the more likely we will actually be living in the now and not the past or the future (worrying about what will happen next!).
What does fun have to do with it? This is the best part. When we’re having fun, we’re in the present moment. You don’t have to become a yogi or go stay at an Ashram like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love to find the present moment. If you can find something fun, you’re practicing being in the present moment.
So, what’s fun for you? Let’s look at some ideas for presence and fun and see what you might think would be the most fun!
When I was growing up and also until recently as an adult, I spent a lot of my time singing. Turns out that singing, especially in a group, is very good for being present. Singing well requires you to listen to what the other people around you are singing and match the tempo (how slow or fast it is going) and pitch (either as harmony or the same notes). Even singing with your kids can be fun, whether it is on pitch or not. It’s probably more fun if you can think beyond the Wipers on the Bus song, but any song will do if you’re all having fun singing it!
Another way of being present is playing a game, especially more active ones. Even playing kids’ games like Red Light, Green Light, or tag bring you move into present time to keep up with what’s happening. For older kids and adult, playing a sport requires you to be in the present moment. What happens when you’re spacing out in the middle of a basketball game?
Another way of being present and having fun is going into nature. Just noticing and appreciating what you’re seeing brings you into the present moment. If you’re hiking or rock climbing, even more presence is required. This isn’t going into nature and trying to hurry to get somewhere, but really allowing yourself to attend to the little things along the way, much like when you’re in nature with a toddler or preschooler. My boys are teen and young adult now, but I had forgotten what it’s like to be with a small child when we went hiking in the woods in Washington state with some friends and their 2-year-old. It was great because we weren’t in a hurry and I watched as he delighted in all the little bugs and rocks along the way. That’s presence. It’s actually available to you anytime you’re not trying to get to work or school on time and is a fabulous exercise in presence and way more fun when you can join little ones in their explorations.
Presence can look like a lot of different things and practicing it can look very different in your family vs your neighbor’s family. But finding the fun things you can do that allow you to practice being present is a powerful experience, especially when you do this kind of presencing with your loved ones.
What would you like to try this weekend and this next week that’s fun and helps you to be more present? I’d love to hear what you try and what your experience of it is.
I’m Rebecca Thompson Hitt and you’ve been listening to Fun Friday on the All Relationships Can Heal podcast. We’re going to be taking some time off for the holidays and we’ll be back in a few weeks with more! Thanks for listening. Please share with someone else you think would enjoy this series and help share the love and information! We have so much more to share about healing and we’ll start our next series with self-care and community care. I’m looking forward to our next conversation!