Being present is hard to do intentionally. In order to be present you have to forget that you are present. When you are involved in what you are doing without worrying about why you are doing it, or how it will turn out, you are present. You’ll notice that being present is a pleasant feeling. If you get caught up in a song, a movie or a book you enjoy yourself because you are present in the experience and not concerned with yourself.
Being present is not something you notice when you are present. You notice it as soon as you are not present again. As soon as you are one step removed from the present, you start to judge your experience. You think that what you are doing is good or bad. You think about what other people will think about you. You wonder about how what you are doing will turn out. These thoughts turn themselves into worries or fears and take you away from the present.
Although it is hard to be present intentionally, you can practice becoming present. When you pay close attention to your thoughts and your immediate environment and notice when you are beginning to slip in time, you will often notice yourself being present. Your breath, sights, sounds and senses of your surroundings bring you to the brink of the present, then you just forget yourself and you are there.