Welcome to Day 13 of The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse. Now that you've spent the past five days steeped in conversations that are designed to bring you more fully and vibrantly into the present moment, it's the perfect time to re-examine what it really means to be present. We hear people talk about being in the present, but why does it matter?

Being present means being completely here in body, mind and spirit—aware of what's happening around you and within you. It means that this is all there is. There is no tomorrow or even a yesterday or a later today. Now is all that exists. Harnessing the power of the present means having your full awareness on the task at hand and having access to the possibilities, the opportunities and the support that exists right now. That is why the present is our next agent of change. It's realizing that this instant in time is unlike any you've experienced before or will experience again.

When you master the art of being fully awake to this moment, you bestow a precious gift on your soul—the experience of love. Being present is the art of the soul. Your mind is at rest because there is nowhere else to go and nothing else to do. There is no past to haunt you or pull you backward. And there is no future to wish for or fantasies to maintain. Being present is truly the demonstration of "this is as good as it gets," because nothing is real except this very moment. In the present, you will feel a level of peace, relaxation, love and contentment that can be accessed only in this moment. This is why it is called the precious present because when you are in it, it is the greatest gift you will ever give yourself. While your past can inform you and your future can inspire you, the moment of choice exists in the here and now.

By relinquishing your obsession with the past and your fantasies about the future, you can tap into the power of the present and feel the force of love that resides inside of you. And that is my wish for you today—to let that force of love so capture your attention that there is nowhere else you'd rather be than right here.

Cleansing Ritual

Today is the day for the present-moment awareness practice. Find a comfortable place and take five or 10 minutes to become aware of your surroundings, tuning into the sounds around you and basking in your human body. When you are thinking about the past or projecting into the future, write it down. Keep count of how many times you leave the present moment because awareness is key to being present.

Soulful Action

Your Outer Goal: What could you love about yourself right now—without making one more change—that would move you closer to your desired goal?

Your Inner Goal: What could you do or what choice could you make in this very moment that would bring you the feeling you most desire?

Soul Food: The precious moment is all that there is.

Debbie Ford is the national best-selling author of The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, The Secret of the Shadow, Spiritual Divorce, The Right Questions, The Best Year of Your Life and Why Good People Do Bad Things. Her new book is The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse (Harper Collins). She conducts workshops across the country. She lives in California with her family.
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