|As clichéd as this quote is to most, I think it holds 3 vital skills to leading a happier life.
- Learn from but Let Go of things that have happened
- Don’t concern yourself with imaginary futures.
- Remember that the only reality and power is right NOW
During the Pacific Row, not harbouring negativity for team mates, not worrying about how many miles I still had to travel and concentrating on the moment and constantly bringing myself back to the moment was the way that I made it across the ocean for those 9 months!
Every new day is an opportunity to try again, do things right, be better. Show more patience. Be more positive, motivated, or compassionate.
Today IS a gift. I truly believe that.
That’s not to say that we aren’t constantly riding the waves of life…there are good times and bad times. Sometimes we feel alone and lost and other times we feel utterly connected and content with where we are.
This month has been a mix of emotions. I’ve been in Australia getting to know my nephew…who has just turned 6 years old and it’s only the second time I’ve met him! It’s a long, complicated story, but my time getting to know my nephew highlighted that children have this wonderful ability to only be in the moment. To only live for the day. They have this knack of being utterly present. They feel misrepresented and upset one minute – are completely fine the next – laugh openly and intensely – then go off into a wild tantrum seconds later.
As each emotion comes and goes…it does just that.
Comes and goes. Constantly changes.
Whether our daily moments are frustrating, uplifting, happy, sad, exciting, heartbreaking, mundane, incredible or trigger any other type of emotion…we are still fortunate enough to have each day. To be able to gain knowledge about ourselves from all our moments and experiences is a great learning curve and helps us develop mental resilience.
How much time have you spent worrying about things that never actually happened?
We build up situations in our minds and are convinced of their outcomes but really have no idea what the future holds. We are not clairvoyants and for the most part, the reality is never as bad as we create in our own minds.
Then there is the past experience that has happened that we spend hours, days, months playing over in our minds wishing we’d done something differently or wondering what would have happened if it had all ended another way. It’s great to learn lessons from things that we have done, people we have met and experiences we have had, to take time to reflect…but ultimately once they’re done…they’re done and cannot be undone.
We need to move forward and not dwell on that history.
So…this month is all about the present moment. Appreciating what we have at the time that we have it. Being 100% present and connected.
It sounds easy…but it’s not!
With incessant mobile phone obsession and so much societal noise and distraction surrounding everything we do, it’s actually very rare for us to be fully present, fully ‘in the room’, fully in the now.
It’s not that we don’t want to truly appreciate the gift of now, it’s just that we sometimes need a reminder or some help to make it happen. Our constant chattering minds love thinking about the past and worrying about the future. It takes hard work to keep bringing ourselves back to the moment. We’ve become a multi-tasking society much more than we used to be and the pace of life feels as though it’s getting quicker and quicker.
So, I challenge you all to STOP. Take some time and bring yourself back to where you are right NOW.
Here are the 3 top exercises I used this month to help me appreciate the magical now.
What is happening exactly as it’s happening!
- When you wake up. Take 10 minutes to do some MINDFULNESS. Sit and concentrate your awareness on your breath. Just be. No judgement, no anxiety, no past and no future. Only what is happening in the moment.
Is your breath deep or shallow, slow or fast, are you breathing in through one or two nostrils? There is no right or wrong. Just observe. When your mind wanders (which it inevitably will), bring it gently back to the breath.
- The power of NATURE can quickly bring you back to the moment and the relative insignificance of everything. Find time in your day to get outside and look around you or up at the sky! Observing the clouds, trees, a park, flowers, birds, whatever sign of nature you can find near you is a great way to focus yourself on the now.
You will never see that exact cloud formation ever again.
It is utterly unique.
However fleeting the respite is from a stressful or chaotic day, breathing in or being near nature is a wonderful one!
- LISTEN. Truly listen with intent. In a conversation, be aware of when you’re only waiting to respond or you’re only focused on what you want to say next and actually stop and listen to the person you’re engaging with. Don’t only listen to their words, listen to the unspoken language. Watch their body language use your intuition to hear on a much deeper level. You might surprise yourself with what you notice. Connect.
Enjoy your ‘present’ today and may it be seen as a gift more often than not.
Remember that we are all exactly where we are supposed to be in this moment. Have a great weekend.
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