Yesterday I gave you heartbreaking news: We’re all a bunch of time travelling zombies.

If you’d like more time travel training, be sure to click the “time travel” tab in the menu bar. It will take you to a page with all my time travel posts for your viewing pleasure.

I wrapped yesterday’s post with these words:

This week I’ve been embroiled in a serious battle: The battle for my present. I’m almost continually drawn—tempted, really—to leave the present moment and spend my mental energies on the future. The more I do that, the more stressed I get. I bet you can relate.

We’re time travelling zombies. Unless we put two powerful tools to work.

Today I’m going to share tool number one.

The mall map

You know what I mean: The Info Maps placed throughout shopping malls that feature a red star or dot that says, “You are here.” Good morning shopper. You’re not in the West wing, or by the end near Wal Mart. You’re over by Old Navy. Or whatever. You are here. Knowing where you are helps you know what to do next.

Well, your life’s Mall Map also has a red dot or star, if you stop long enough to see it. “You are here,” it says, and the here it’s talking about is always the present moment.

You know this, but probably don’t live like you do. Take me, for example.

So let’s say I start to stress about a meeting later this week. Or a difficult conversation I need to initiate. Or maybe I’m just feeling overwhelmed as I look at my schedule in general and start thinking, “I’ll never get all this done.” Butterflies begin flapping their wings in my gut. Knots start forming. I feel weak. And compelled to take deep, cleansing breaths.

I often talk to my soul when that happens.

Huh?

Yeah. David does it in the Psalms, like so: “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.” (Psalm 103:1)

Right. So when I’m stressed, I talk to my soul.

“You are here,” I tell it.

Here, in the present. Not at the meeting. Not in the conversation. Here. What’s happening here? Um, I’m sitting in a comfy high-backed chair in Starbucks plunking out this blog entry. I’ve just worked out, showered, and I feel marvellous.

But this isn’t just a mental trip. I take time to feel the comfy chair against my butt, take in the ambience of the coffee shop, smell the steaming Chai being announced from the bar. I re-locate my brain in the present, and choose to stay there.

If I’m driving somewhere, I’ll revel in the sunshine streaming into my car. Feel it’s warmth. Celebrate the great, grand sky unfolding before me and thank God for the breath I’m taking there.

Here, I mean.

Because here and now, in the present, nothing stressful is happening. Even if something were, guess what? You can’t worry about the present. You can only live it.

Right?

Tomorrow I’ll share tool number two, and I can hardly wait, because it’s going to change your prayer life forever. As a buddy of mine remarked about yesterday’s post, “This is good stuff. And once you realize it, you’ll never be able to un-realize it.”

How do you deal with stress? Is this time travel handle helping you? Talk to me.