And so it is true, that most of us spend much of our time “elsewhere” and not truly living in the present moment. We fret about things that have happened, and worry about things that might. By doing this, we rob ourselves of the joy, and the magic that exists in every single second.

We can all get so wrapped up in life’s details that we lose sight of what truly matters.  And when this happens, we lose sync with our connection to core.

There is actually a physical discomfort that we experience when mind, body and spirit are out of alignment.

You know what it feels like, don’t you? You feel like you need to get away and hide.  What you really need to do, is plugin to the flow.

There was a time that I found it challenging to find this harmony. Thankfully,  I have since learned that the answer lies in just being in the moment and letting go of all else.

When we are truly living fully in the moment, there is no outside world. There is only what we see, hear, taste, smell and all the things we feel about those things in that moment.

It’s no coincidence that the word present, is synonymous with the word gift.  For what a wonderful gift it is! Living  in the moment gives us back the gift of being our magnificent true selves.


On the night of the full moon recently, I had a powerful experience that confirmed to me that:

When we open ourselves up and surrender to being, we see, we hear, and we feel the most wonderful magic. And we rediscover the beautiful light that lives in us all, and heals all wounds.

May 25th

I lay shrouded in darkness, anxiously awaiting the sandman’s arrival, whilst Earth’s dark umbral shadow kissed a passionate farewell to his lover Luna, on the other side of the world.

I heard it, before I saw her – the lovely lure of her tranquil song.

On opening my eyes, there she was, peering patiently down at me through the window pane, her flawless face smiling, as she beckoned.  I graciously accepted her invitation, emerging  from Cimmerian shadows, and joining her on her peaceful playground. I’d forgotten what it felt like to just trust.

My breath caught at the beauty of the backdrop before me.  A perfect pearl hung high on the sky, set elegantly amongst her celestial sisters and brothers.  On one side, after sliding nonchalantly down the handle of the big dipper, there rested noble Arcturus, in his dazzling light. Just above, on the other, Golden Saturn gleamed with pride, his hula-hoops skills second to none.

But it was she, Luna, with her milky iridescence, who held my attention. I stood in rapture peering up at this opalescent beauty, whilst the tendrils of her moonbeams reached to embrace me.  As she held me, she whispered softly, “Let go. Release everything with unconditional love.”

And, so I did.

Her light filled me, illuminating every cell of my body.  I felt the drops fall over my face, and her smile as she kissed them away.

The night air fragrant with the intoxicating scent of magnolia blossoms left me a little heady.  As I breathed it in, it’s cool soothing essence  washed over me, cleansing  body, mind and spirit.

And I was free.

She kept me company, as I walked; my steps ever so much lighter.  I smiled, flattered, as the night wind danced around us, whistling and flirting, as forth we went.

As I stood on the bridge connecting the park to the deserted schoolyard, I saluted the ever vigilant basketball nets where they stood erect and on guard.  The boisterous babbling of the brook beneath rushing on its way, was positively jubilant. “Slow down,” I whispered, more to myself.  “Enjoy the ride.” The water glimmered back at me, but carried on, on its merry way.

The leaves of the trees rustled on their branches to get my attention, just as one last lyrid meteor, winked on its way by.

My heart was full.

Luna and I stood beaming at each other, and for what seemed an eternity, we drank each other in.

But as I started to bid her goodnight, she held me there, her message incomplete.  Uncertain, I waited.

She bade me to look, and from the West it came, racing across the sky.

I watched transfixed as the cloud formation  photo 2 full moon and cloudsneared, and a dark shape took form   as the wolf spirit burst from the billows. Eyes the colour of liquid honey met my astonished gaze, and  the most amazing thing happened.

As I stood there, I felt myself grow. Taller and taller.  Higher and higher. Higher than the moon, until I was so big that I disappeared into everything.

And I knew in that moment, that it is of that “everything” that I am made. The whole Universe is within me; as it is, within us all.

“You’re ready,” I heard. “Accept your gifts. Do not be afraid.”

And then just as suddenly, the clouds were gone, and Luna was moving away.

I was left there standing naked with the truth.

It’s always been up to me.


This experience was a reminder to me to get back in touch with my core. To heed the messages, to get out of the chaos, to get out of my own way, and to pay attention to the signs.  The truth is always there. We just need to be brave enough to seek it, and live it. 

When you truly live in the present moment, there is only you and your connection to the whole Universe.

So here is my gift to you. And I hope you accept this challenge and give this gift to yourself.

  • Make a commitment to yourself to take a walk for 15 minutes / day, for 7 days. Walk slower than you normally would, and notice all that you see, hear, feel, smell and taste, and all the feelings you have about those things.
  • If you find your mind wandering to worries, stop yourself, be thankful for the awareness, and focus your mind back to the task.
  • After your walk write a reflection about your experience  – the things you saw, heard, smelled, tasted, and how they made you feel.

At the end of the 7 days re-read your reflections and notice the subtle changes in your experience. Develop an awareness of your power to simply be and to let go of all else.

This exercise WILL help you learn to let go of stress, to let go of fear, to let go of worry, and to surrender and experience the joy and gratitude of simply being.

You will find:

  • you are more centered and connected to core
  • you will be more productive
  • you will have more time for things you want to do
  • you will start to notice the simple joys in everyday living
  • you will be happier and more carefree
  • and your relationship with yourself and with others will also improve.
  • everything will flow more easily and effortlessly


If living in the moment, is a struggle for you, or even if it is not, give yourself the gift of getting back to your magnificent self!

Will you accept this one week challenge? I’d love to read all about it if you do!

Please share your comments below.



Tagged with:

65 Responses to The Gift of Being Present

  1. Karen Jolly says:

    Shelley, words cannot express how grateful I am to you for sharing your beautiful experience. You are such a gift and I am so honored to have you in my life. I could feel every moment as though I were there with you – I am still holding it in my heart as it feels SO good! I just want you to know how deeply you’ve touched me today… as you always do.

    In great love and honor of your gifts,

    • Oh, Karen. it makes me so happy to know that sharing my experiences makes a difference and touches the lives of others. You were with me while I was there. You are always with me, my friend. We are all connected at the core of our being. Namaste, beautiful Karen. You touch my heart with your beautiful soul. xo

  2. You’ve provided a beautiful gift for everybody, Shelley! I hope as many people take it and I’m sure they’ll notice the difference.

    As for me, I do try to walk with awareness, and that is a walking meditation for me. Observing things as they’re in real-time is a very relieving and relaxing experience. You’ve so nicely explained about the ‘present’ and everything in your life depends on how to deal with it.

    What a beautiful write-up of your celestial experience – if you can re-check the date. But what really matters is the essence of your experience and it is true what you wrote about the Universe connection.

    Thank you for these tips for easy and happy living. 🙂

    • Hi Harleena,

      The gift of wonder, the gift of magic, the gift of connection.. all so empowering.

      I am so glad to know that you honour yourself by walking with awareness. It’s so completely different an experience than walking with your thoughts.

      I am sure of the dates. It was the night of the “pink” full moon. The lyrids lasted from about April 16-25… peaking on the 22nd. I didn’t see it at it’s peak though have no doubt it was spectacular!

      We all need reminders and tips for easy, happy living, me included.

      It is not so very hard to reconnect with our true selves when we make the time.

      I don’t know why there is such a struggle to make the time. It always gives us back more. 🙂

      Thank you for spending some time here with me, my wonderful friend. xo

  3. Shelley, in some regards we are kindred souls. A daily focus time, especially in the powerful witness and strength of nature is a power fuel we all need to grow. As you know, it is also this way for me …. This moment is all we have and the perpetual now IS the experience of our mortal lives. I hear what you say about the magnificent self. Yet for me this realization is best found in celebrating the Giver of life, from which any gifts I have are graciously bestowed. {Semantics maybe. 🙂 } ——- I think it is awesome that you remind people of solid ways to connect with inspiration in their own way. I love your writing style and lucid word pictures. Your friend, Slam

    • My dear Slam, indeed we are kindred. I feel the connection. I have read in your own magnificent words how you refuel by connecting with nature and with God. Semantics. We choose to use different words, but the same force of life to celebrate and to give gratitude for and to.

      We all, including me, need reminders to connect with the light within us. When we throw off the shackles we have put upon ourselves and let ourselves be free, we refuel and have more to give.

      Thank you for your kind words, Always sending you Love & Light xo

  4. Una Wright says:

    Shelley…you are a beautiful writer! Thank you for taking the time to give the gift of your insights. I love to walk…I almost never miss a day. It gives me just about everything I need for balance and well-being – mental clarity, spiritual connection, fresh air, vitamin D, exercise. It is my is absolute favourite thing to do…especially on in this fantastic weather we are having right now! 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Una. How wonderful that you walk almost every day. I love it too, but don’t make the time often enough.
      I have accepted my own challenge and know that I should make it a daily ritual.
      Enjoy the weather, whatever it may be, my friend. There is a gift in everything. 🙂

  5. Jill Mollenhauer says:

    Shelley,this is stunning, not only in its beautiful prose, but also that I walked with you and found myself saying,’yes! yes that is exactly what it feels like to me with moon!!” Then you added even more. How touchingly grateful I am for this; it comes on the heals of an opening about seeing just last night… Ah the confirmation just keeps on giving! Thank you Shelley, I feel I know you , even though I ‘don’t’ 🙂 And a BIG thank you to Karen Jolly for playing it forward for me to discover.

    • Hi Jill.
      Isn’t it wonderful when we see the signs and have the confirmations?! They’re always there. I am so very glad that Karen brought you here to visit. You do know me. I am a reflection of you, dear lady. How wonderful that is to know!

      I would love to hear more about your opening about seeing if you feel you can share. Be well. And thank YOU. ((hugs))

  6. Deone Higgs says:

    This is a lovely post, Shelley! I think you’re absolutely right! It truly is a fantabulous gift for us to be able to take in all the wonderfulness of the present moment. It’s a daily practice we must attend to give our deepest attention. It is also quite easy for us to lose that awareness. That is why I think this challenge will be so rewarding for those of us who take you up on it. Count me in! 😉

    • Hi Deone! It always makes me happy when you come for a visit. I am so thrilled you have decided to accept the challenge. I can’t wait to hear all about it, my friend. Enjoy just being magnificent YOU! xo

  7. David says:

    Hi Shelley!! Thank you for this lovely and wonderful post!! We are the only ones who truly decide when and what we are ready to accept. But, why wait to allow all of the love and beauty? Let it rain down on us!! Everyday!! xoxo

  8. Jon M says:

    Hi Shelley, A great post and you can count me in! It is a great way to breathe it in and connect to the moment. It will help us be present more fully throughout any given day. Thank you! Jon

  9. Beautiful post, and a great challenge! I’m in. 🙂 It’s true that we spend way too much time lamenting the past and/or worrying about the future, when the present moment is perfect and really all that we can ever count on. Many thanks for the reminder through your lovely story!

    • Thank you, sweet Alice. Worry never solves anything and only robs us of the joy of the present moment.
      Good for you for accepting the challenge. Enjoy, my friend. I hope to read all about it! ! xo

  10. Disha says:

    wow it’s seriously love post. I am really happy to see this Post. I am inspire by this valuable post. Go ahead & keep posting this kind of valuable post, which makes sense.

  11. Gloria Miele, Ph.D. says:

    What a beautiful ode to the moon and being in the present. Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s always a practice to stay in the moment. Great reminder here.

  12. Louise / Priestess Tarot says:

    Brilliant insight and good diary of a meditation and connection to Spirit 🙂

  13. JudyStoneGoldman says:

    I relate so much to the connection to the mood and the meditative spirit you bring. Being fully present is something I am working on, and I can tell such a big difference in myself when I succeed.

  14. What a beautiful post. I am much more conencted with the now and the divine spirit in me than I used to be and I am also able to let go of all that is around much quicker these days. Good luck with your challenge.

  15. katelindsaylifecoach says:

    It was a very poetic feeling night and you certainly have expressed the beauty and the power of the evening. I love the challenge that you have offered. I have learned a lot in the past 2years about my connection to the power within me but I am always looking to grow further. I am in!

  16. SuzieCheel says:

    I love this article and it spoke to me. I know being present has changed my life the worry is lessened and the love and the joy fill me daily.

    I am doing to do your challenge, i do walk, not usually slowly and when i do i know I am more conscious of the abundance on all ways that surrounds me – adding in the journaling/ reflecting is a great idea. Namaste ♥♡♥

  17. dfoch says:

    This is one of the best things I have ever read. I look forward to going for the walk every day on my lunch break this week.

    • That means so very much to me, Daniel. I a so glad you are learning to open yourself up to being who you are. what a wonderful gift to give yourself and to the world. Namaste.

  18. Janet Nestor says:

    A beautifully written article! Your touching experience has touched me. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  19. Sharon O'Day says:

    In the past few months, the way I walk each morning has changed. Instead of being aware of every tree, bird, breeze, cloud formation, in short, everything in my immediacy, I’ve walked faster and faster … and less and less connected. Thank you for this wake-up call, Shelley. I know where a conscious change will lead me, and that place is magical!

    • Hi Sharon, I used to walk like that too. As fast as I could, as far as I could… with every thought racing through my head.

      And now that I walk with presence, I am a much happier peaceful person. I feel very blessed, no matter what life brings me.

      Thanks so much for visiting. May you enjoy your walking from a place of peace. 🙂

  20. Shelley, thank you for sharing your beautiful and profound experience with us! I find that when I’m present, I am very good at it. I can completely enjoy the NOW for all it is, the interconnectedness, and the merging of myself with everything around me…

    but, I tend to forget to be present. I do consider my “presence” as a gift I give to others, as you stated in your post. Thanks for a timely reminder to make the effort more often. <3

  21. Carol says:

    Would just using memories work the same? As I’m not able to go out for walks due to health issues plus I live in a built up area it’s very loud with traffic and people

    • Hi Carol… using memories would be living the past. And while wonderful memories can bring a smile.. the exercise is presence. To be in the now you must be amidst it. Can you open a window or even just look outside and be aware of what you can see or hear from where you sit and just notice and experience the beauty of the moment? You could also close your eyes and imagine… but create the moment rather than relive one, and just notice and be aware. That would work too! I’d love to hear how it goes. 🙂

  22. Peggy Nolan says:

    Hi Shelley,

    Amazing journey you shared. Thank you. The light in me deeply honors the light in you. Namaste xxoo

  23. Debra Oakland says:

    Shelley, this is a beautiful magical journey you shared with Luna! When you said “we don’t just witness the beauty around us, we become it.” I felt it. Thank you for shining your light and your gifts with the world. xoxo

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Wonderful, Debra. It’s all there for us when we are open. And it is no surprise to me that you felt it – your heart is huge and wide open. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do. xo

  24. Deanna Heiliger says:

    Shelley, what a beautiful experience you had and I agree that it is great to be present…it is a gift if we can get there. I love this, “Let go. Release everything with unconditional love.” It is hard to do, but so worth it!

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thank you, Deanna. Being truly present is so grounding. I do my best to live that line in ever moment.

      P.S. It’s only as hard as we decide it is. 🙂

  25. Dear Shelley, you are a beautiful being. This wisdom and your story is fully resonant with my experiences of entering my present; the quiet space aligned with the secrets of the moon – our mother nature <3 Would love to co-create with you as a soul sister, so be it. Thank you, light and blessings Katrine

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Aww, thank you, Katrine. I’d love to co-create with you, as well. I look forward to getting to know you better and to basking in your Light. Namaste.

  26. Christa says:

    What a lovely post, Shelley, and such a fantastic exercise and ideas to bring that peace and mindfulness into our lives – in such a simple, loving, and inspiring way! Thank you for this and such a shining reminder. 🙂

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thank you, Christa. Simple and loving is who I choose to be. I hope the inspiring may move others in the same direction. 🙂

  27. Sheila Callaham says:

    Holy Smokes! You had me at hello… Shelley, I am blown away by your words, so extraordinarily beautiful they are. My desire was to tell you my favorite quote, but alas, they all flowed together into a complete and beautiful telling. I, too, have a love affair with the moon, but I have never stepped into her kiss like you. I’m bookmarking this one so I can read it again and again and again… Thank you so much for your wisdom and more importantly for sharing!

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      LOL… awesome, Sheila! I’m so glad you enjoyed my post. I read it often, too. It was such a beautiful experience.

      Thanks for sharing it with me. ((hugs))

  28. Beth Wilson says:

    Shelley, on a night when I’m struggling to be present to emotions of grief and sadness, your post is a like a balm to my wounded heart.

    Thank you.

  29. Ralene Berry says:

    Shelley, what an awesome post. Often times we desire to shut out but being present in the midst of chaos around us is hard yet there are ways as you have shown.

    Thank you for reminding me how to stay present!!

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Agreed, Ralene. We often believe it’s easier to retreat from ourselves, but bringing ourselves into presence is so healing. It melts away the chaos and the illusion.

      I always write the reminders I need for myself, too. 🙂

      Thanks, Ralene. xo

  30. Debra Reble says:

    Beautifully and elegantly written Shelley and this is such an important practice in being authentically who we are. I am writing about presence in my new book on love and being present for me is a quiet action of love. Thanks for sharing your beautiful being and I may quote you if that’s OK with you 🙂 Lots of love Debra

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thank you, Debra. Your words resonate with me, and I totally agree… Being present is a quiet action of love.

      Quote away… we’re all beacons for one another. And I am grateful for your Light. xo

      Always sending Love.

  31. Dawn Hafner says:

    This post was amazing and beautiful. Your writing really touched me and this is a topic I am passionate about as well. We have to slow down and take it all in to feel anything at all. Loved it, thank you so much!

    • Shelley Lundquist says:

      Thank you so much, Dawn. I’m so glad the post resonated with you. When we are truly present in the moment, we don’t just witness the magic, we become it. ((hugs))

  32. Shakti Chionis says:

    Thank you Shelley. Really heart and soul put into this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *