Tool One: Bring Yourself to Present-Moment Awareness


The past couple of weeks have seen the US Federal Government pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, terror attacks in Manchester and London, and more.

Even when events like these do not affect us directly, they can often bring us inner, emotional churning. This can reduce our ability to focus on our own priorities and to create the results we seek. At times like this it is useful to learn new techniques to get us back on track.

The first and simplest of these tools is simply to catch yourself and bring yourself back to an awareness of what is happening around you now, in the present moment. This will help you to calm and relax.

To try this out, think of some event that has upset you in the past couple of weeks. Recreate that now. Remember what happened and how you felt, what you were thinking. Notice the feelings in your body. What are you feeling, in what parts of your body?

Now shift your focus to notice what is happening around you. Describe it to yourself.

Now focus on your breath. Slow it down. Take a deep breath, slowly release it. Then take another.

Notice what you are feeling in your body now. How would you describe the feelings? Where in your body are you feeling them?

Then ask yourself: is something external happening to me right now that is causing these feelings or am I creating this inner churning for myself? Am I remembering something that happened in the past or imagining something that might happen in the future?

If you are remembering the past or imagining the future then you can use the tools of Chapter 2 will to make sense of this But for now you can prepare yourself to use those tools by shifting your attention back to what is actually happening around you now, in the present-moment. Notice and name what is going on around you now and what you are thinking and feeling.

(You can record your answers to this and the other tools in the workbook or the electronic workbook.)

Adapted from The Churning, Inner Leadership

Photo By Gage Skidmore via

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