The Art of Being Present

As I forge ahead on my path of discovery, I continue to learn the importance and the art of being present. Being in the moment is mastered on an individual basis and is ever-evolving – it can be difficult to accomplish with technology, the fast-paced world we live in and our day-to-day stressors. Being present is something that takes focus, our own initiative and commitment to make it happen.

view from half way mark of walkLast weekend, Noah and I were working on projects around the house. As we were engrossed in our own worlds, I could see the sun shining through our window shades. We had discussed earlier about going for a walk, but hours had now passed. Finally, we realized if we did not stop what we were doing, we would lose sunlight and the window of opportunity to get outside. A walk won out over “work.”

It’s amazing how that happens in life. We get laser-focused on accomplishing tasks on our to-do list, rather than doing something beneficial for ourselves. Noah and I may have been present in regards to our “projects,” but not the kind of living in the moment that is good for our souls.

beginning of walk __ca blue__skyI think the first key to learning how to be more present is finding your environment that allows this to happen easily. My place is outdoors, in nature where I can breathe fresh air, let my mind rest and find inspiration in the simple pleasures. Our walk last weekend did just that.

Noah and I hiked along a beautiful trail in Pilot Hill, California. The scenery was extraordinary with rolling hills, oak trees and views of the river. We were completely surrounded by its vast beauty. Every direction we looked evoked a sense of serene bliss; a feeling as though we were being embraced by nature.

half way point of walkAs we started our walk, we were mesmerized by the “California blue” sky and talked about how much we love where we live. All of a sudden, a flock of tiny, yellow birds flew above us and into a tree close by. When they flew they looked like big butterflies. We noticed a lot of them in a nearby field and watched them flutter about until finally they soared off into the distance. We were in awe by their beauty. It is moments like this that I am truly present. My mind was clear. I was in my happy place and focused on a simple moment in time and in nature, which was very therapeutic.

At the halfway point of our walk, Noah and I rested on a picnic bench soaking in the blue sky, listening to the calming sound of the river and rejuvenating our soul. Again, I was in the moment, connected with Noah and myself.

Noah & Valen
As much as we strive to make the most of every day, it is realistic to say that we can’t always be completely present. However, we can start small by finding things that help us live more in the moment. While it is nature for me, for you it may be hanging out in a special place in your home, being with your pet, working with your hands in the garage, painting or cooking. Being present is finding an outlet that provides an escape from your day-to-day distractions, enabling you to live in the moment. Mastering this state of being helps us soak in more treasured moments of life. Even if we can only accomplish being truly present in small increments during our days, I am confident its positive energy will carry on.

What is your escape that helps you stay present?


  1. Suzanne

    How beautiful!!

    • Valen Keefer

      Thank you Suzanne! 🙂

  2. Karin

    Hi Valen!
    Cooking is definitely what brings me to that point of slowing down and savoring the moment. There’s something about the scents and food smells from beginning to end that brings a certain awareness, just like the kitchen sounds: chopping, water running to fill pots, and so on. Whether I go solo or my kids join me, it’s always relaxing, fun and rewarding.
    I’m glad you and Noah decided to go for that walk! Art and I have a few pending jobs awaiting but, when we re-direct our attention to those, they will still be there.
    I love the picture of you, both.
    Lots of hugs!!

    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Karin,
      So happy you have a positive outlet of cooking and it’s something you can do with your kids. There seems to always be projects and chores that await us, so I continue to strive to not miss opportunities that our good for our health and our soul. Nature seems to remain my #1. As I type this, I’m soaking in some sun and fresh air at our local park and will soon be headed to Pilates. 🙂
      Sending lots of hugs your way and hope you’re having a beautiful day!

  3. Catherine L Blakley

    I live on the beautiful island of St Croix, where we have an incredible view of Cane Bay on the North Shore of the island. So my escape, when I get caught up in work (I work from home) and every day tasks, is to simply look out at the ocean, the mountains, the sunshine and the wonderful Caribbean sky. Life doesn’t get any better!!

    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Catherine,
      Thank you very much for sharing this. Just imagining that view made me happy. Plus knowing you are reading my blog in St. Croix is pretty fun too. 🙂 Fantastic that you are able to work from home and are surrounded by an incredible view to keep you inspired. Enjoy and please soak in some of that beauty for me! 🙂


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