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Being Present

Image for article Being Present

We are all very busy doing things aren’t we? Doing the Bob Graham, doing the Three Peaks Challenge, doing the Munros, and a host of other things … triathlons, ultra-marathons, the Pennine Way, the West Highland Way, the Fred Whitton. The list goes on. Myself included, earlier this year I resolved to make peace with Wainwright and start over again my round of the 214 Wainwright Fells, savouring them at a gentle pace this time round. As I write I’m on 51, each of them accomplished in a relaxed and enjoyable manner.

Historically I’ve always been driven. Driven to cover longer distances. Taking in even more tops on a long summer’s day … ten, even twelve at times. Walking the ridges in winter in hope of a more fearful blizzard than last time. Taking on longer and steeper snow filled gullies each year. For what reason I ask myself … what’s the end goal?

And there lies the problem … it’s always been about an end goal. Thankfully, a change is happening.

More recently I’ve been taking great pleasure from being, rather than doing. Taking immense pleasure from being present rather than anticipating the end result, the feeling of completion. Instead I’m appreciating the feeling of being in the moment.

We spend so much time on the hill as a way of getting away from something or as a means to get somewhere, when really we should simply be content, just being, being in the moment, because when it comes down to it, being truly present in the moment is all that’s real … the past is gone, the future hasn’t yet happened, so the only thing that is real is now. Enjoy it, savour it, be part of it, be in it. Don’t look too far ahead. Be present in the moment.

Richard Branson sums it up in his piece, ‘Letter to a Stranger’ … “There’s a reason we’re called human beings and not human doings … happiness is not about doing, it’s about being”

So walk, run, swim, bike, climb, but take time, and that doesn’t necessarily mean slow down, but take time, to be aware, to be present, to be in the moment.

4 December 2017 by Mark Wright

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