By Kaitlin Johnstone

Be Present


We have all looked tragedy in the face and had that very recognizable moment of being in a tunnel. On the outside of that tunnel the world could be bright and sunny; however, for a brief time, you are trapped inside the unknown. It’s dark, loud, and the uncertainty of when the darkness will end is looming. Luckily, I have only been faced with these situations few times in my life and on the other end the sunshine has always returned. But, in the moment, nothing seems to matter other than finding your way out. You tend to forget that your favorite song may be playing on the radio, or the conversation a loved one is attempting to have with you right in the passenger seat. All you can focus on is finding your way out and doing what you can to get there in one piece.

Now, there are also those moments of pure joy, ones in which all we see is the sunshine. The day you get married, graduating high school, or college, receiving a job, having your first child. The moments in which nothing can take you away from the intense high you feel just from simply being you and living your life.

In both these scenarios we can find one commonality; we are present. We are in those moments and everything else seems to fade away. We are unplugged from the outside world and all that seems to matter is either the joy or sadness we are facing.

My question lately has been how do we become ever so present during the everyday mundane tasks such as having our morning coffee or arriving home from work to start dinner? How do we not become so wrapped up in the errands that it takes away from the beauty of simply living? We must find that same ability to breath and take in how we feel. If we have that skill in times of sorrow and happiness why not attempt to feel present in all aspects of our life? Instead of focusing our life value on how many likes we get on social media, why not put our phones down and feel the true love of the ones who have chosen to be an active part in your life? 

We have all been guilty of allowing technology to take over. I’ll admit there have been times when I have focused on the way a picture turns out to post on Instagram that I have missed the complete point; the reason we wanted to capture the moment in the first place. Pictures should merely be a time capsule of our lives, not a social pecking order set forth to make us feel better about ourselves. They should be memories for us to look back on and remember fondly.

When one of my best friends passed away over a year ago, I can tell you for certain I did not care how crooked my smile was, or the fact that at the time I thought my face looked fat, all that mattered was that I had these memories. I never once thought if anyone else in the world cared about these photos because I found happiness in them. I had a connection to my friend and that’s all that mattered.

Not only have I focused far too much on the picture-perfect moment, but I have found myself scrolling Instagram as opposed to listening to a loved one who is right in front of me. Because of this, I have become stuck in a world of comparison, which we all know is the thief of joy. Looking at a world of strangers in their happiest of moments, all the while neglecting to see the beauty of the everyday moments of life. Social media is wonderful for countless reasons. It has helped to grow our business, make connections, and even build friendships. However, we need to find a balance. I want to wake up in the morning, look at my husband, and be grateful I have another morning on this earth. I want to sit with my coffee while it’s still hot and enjoy the simplicity of quietness before a busy day. This past weekend, I went home for a visit with friends and I nearly forgot about social media. I wasn’t busy checking my phone or scrolling through emails. I was in the moment and I could not be happier. Sharing conversations, meals, and laughter were real. I felt alive and recognized the pleasure of just being here. I am not suggesting we never utilize the technology that has been provided to us for many beneficial reasons, I am demanding that we don’t let it get in the way of living our life. I am suggesting that find time to be here now, present and unplugged each day. Even if it is for small moments, because sometimes those moments can be the most special.



1 comment

  • Ram Dass. Be here now. All the way. I love this <3 Thanks for the gentle reminder.

    Ashley on

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