Thoughts On Being In The Moment

This morning, I came across a quote which resonated with me, and sparked some thoughts that I wish to share. The quote is below.

“There is only the moment. The now. Only what you are experiencing at this second is real.” ~ Leo Buscaglia

The seeming simplicity of this quote is deceptive. So often, I have had the tendency to take something which is happening in the present and allow my mind to let it take on epic proportions. We all do it, and typically it involves the things which are unpleasant or stressful. When something is going awry, do you find your thoughts diving into the past, or projecting the issue into the future, feeling like the situation is going to become a permanent fixture? I certainly have, and have been learning to work on it.

It’s definitely a process, and a very conscious choice. The actual practice of mindfulness is relatively new to me. I’ve often heard people talking about living in the moment, and just thought that it was one of those nice things to say, but hard or impossible to do. I’m finding that it isn’t all that difficult (most of the time, anyway). It takes a lot of inner reminders, but over time it is becomes easier.

For myself, as someone who has dealt with a great deal of trauma over the course of my life, remembering that what is happening right at this moment is what is real has been an amazing tool to help me keep things in balance. No matter whether a thing is positive or negative, reminding ourselves that in the next moment things shift is beyond helpful. Life is constant change, and while sometimes this is hard, the alternative is to live in a state of stagnation. I should say trying to live in a state of stagnation, because no matter how concentrated the effort may be, we cannot stem the tide of change.

The sentiment I’m writing about doesn’t mean that we squash our feelings. It’s just as unhealthy to try to pretend that it doesn’t exist as it is to let our thoughts project too far into the future. Building too many expectations for the future can be at the very least disappointing at times, and at the worst can color our thoughts so much that we lose opportunities for happiness because we’re convinced that things will stay the same. We can set goals for ourselves without becoming overly attached to the precise details. There are often many paths to a goal, and unexpected ways that our dreams manifest themselves.

By remembering that the present is all that is, it becomes so much easier to savor our moments of joy as they happen. Not only that, it becomes easier to acknowledge that we may be sad, angry, heartbroken, or any other emotion that pops up, and be able to let it just be without falling into the rabbit hole of remembering all of the “bad stuff” that happened in the past, or convincing ourselves that life is always going to follow the same patterns.

Trust me, I know that this is not the easiest practice to adopt. As a relative newbie to it myself, I have seen how ingrained it is to step out of what is happening in our present moments to dwell in the past and obsess over the future. This whole year for me is dedicated to a continuation of my mindfulness practice. So far, it has been the most helpful method inner work I’ve tried to date. If you find yourself in a place of reliving traumas or being caught up in the type of thought patterns which I wrote about above, I encourage you to look into all of this a bit, and if you feel you need help with it, please reach out and find it. I openly admit that I have.

 

 

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Word of the Year ~ Mindfulness

In choosing my word for the year, I went back and forth a bit between the words love and mindfulness. For a few months, it was looking like the word love was going to be the word, because it is definitely something which I wish to foster more over the next 12 months. Last year could have easily been summed up into one word, and that word would have been – harsh.

2018 was filled with harsh lessons, health issues, and a good bit of general lack of direction for good measure. For the latter half of the year, I had found myself feeling quite lost. There were parts of myself which seemed to have all but disappeared, and I was on a mission to not only regain them, but to expand and improve them. So, when the time of year came to start choosing a word for this year I asked myself what word would encompass what I would need to foster the work that I was doing with all of the above.

The word love kept coming up, because one of the things which had seemed to change in me over the last year was my own feeling of love for the world at large…it had hardened a bit and there were a lot of feelings of mistrust for others and especially myself. Core parts of myself and my beliefs about things were rattled to their foundations. Then, I started to dig deeper and the word mindfulness just clicked into place as the word for 2019, because it encompasses not only a higher capacity for love, but many other things which will bring me closer to being the person I’ve always been at my deepest levels.

Definition of mindfulness 

1 : the quality or state of being mindful

2 : the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis also : such a state of awareness

I’ve been working with mindfulness for the past several months, and let me tell you, allowing myself to be more present with my state of being has been nothing short of amazing. The biggest thing I’ve noticed with this practice so far is that I’m becoming a lot less reactive. By being in the moment, acknowledging what is without judgement, or worse…overanalyzing things by diving into the past or trying to look to far ahead (which has always been hard for me), my life has begun to change in ways I’ve always wished for.

In just the last few months, I’ve seen a huge shift in my feelings about myself and the world. I am able to be much more of an observer of what is, and this has allowed me to be more appreciative and patient. The interesting thing about this is that at the same time, I am much more able to step back when needed, because my feelings of responsibility for and attachment to outcomes has done a complete turn around. This has been the most refreshing thing I’ve ever experienced, and that is not an exaggeration.

All of this has made it easier to transition back into a more creative state of being. This is something which I’m tremendously grateful for, because this was another one of the things that had taken a big hit over the past year or so, along with my sense of spirituality. Those two things are such an integral part of my core that it was literally painful to experience a prolonged period of time wondering if I’d find them again. Finding a mindfulness practice feels like it saved my life, perhaps literally.

Rather than staying stuck in the loop of trying to force myself to get back to “normal”, I learned to acknowledge and honor what was for a while. So, I spent a few months taking care of what absolutely needed to be done, checking in with how I was feeling, then sitting on my couch binge watching various shows on Netflix and Hulu. I learned to let go of my expectations of myself and others too. After a while, I had given myself permission to just be where I needed to be and enjoy the moment, instead of trying to rush myself through the process.

Before I go, I want to thank everyone who has stuck with me through this huge transition phase. 2018 taught me just how amazing some of the people in my life are. Here’s to a wonderful, and smoother 2019!

Much love ❤

 

Card For The Weekend ~ Smile

Smile

As simplistic as it may seem, reminding ourselves to smile makes such a big difference. Not only does the act of smiling, even if we have to sort of fake it at first, quickly start to make a difference in the way that we feel, it definitely has a positive impact on the people we come into contact with. It’s easy to start to feel weighed down by problems and responsibilities, but carrying that weight around does not help it to get any lighter. The simple act of placing a smile on our faces is a good first step to helping us to move toward acceptance of what is, so that we can go about our lives with more joy and ease while waiting for things to resolve. It’s much easier to find solutions when we’ve reduced our stress levels. Have a wonderful weekend, and show the world that beautiful smile! 🙂

Card For Today ~ You Are Lovable

You are Lovable

Remember today to feel and treat yourself with as much kindness as you would the person you love the most. Oftentimes, we get so wrapped up in the needs of others that we begin to feel as though we are less worthy of love as anyone else. It’s good to remind ourselves of this on a regular basis. Treat yourself with some TLC today!

 

Card For Today ~ Time To Decide

Time To Decide

Life can certainly feel overwhelming at times, leaving us feeling as though we’ve got nowhere to go. There are so many ways in which to apply this card, from making an actual decision about a course of action or choice that needs to be made, to as broadly based as deciding how we’re going to conduct ourselves, or our way of thinking about life in general. If you find yourself feeling uncertain, the best thing to do is listen to your intuition about what would be best for you and start moving in that direction. Even if things don’t go as expected, the experience will be invaluable.

Card For Today ~ Release All Anger

Release All Anger

Sometimes we find ourselves in a place of anger. Even when someone has treated us unkindly or has done something which hurts us, the way that we choose to react to it impacts us, either positively or negatively. While “giving them a piece of our mind” might be the initial impulse, it’s wise to collect ourselves so that we speak with dignity. Allowing ourselves to get overcome with anger brings us even more of the energy that we’d like to have avoided in the first place. This doesn’t mean that we allow people to treat us unkindly or abusively. It’s just a reminder that reacting in anger does nothing to diffuse situations, and it is damaging to our physical and emotional well-being. Best bet is to walk away and wait for the dust to settle. There’s nothing wrong with choosing to disconnect from people who are an unhealthy influence in our lives. To practice the best self-care possible, we should endeavor to let anger wash through us, rather than give it a home or allow it to pour from our mouths excessively or inappropriately.

Card for Today ~ New Beginnings

New Beginnings

After we’ve gone through difficult times, it can be all too easy to stay stuck. When we lose our footing, sometimes we find ourselves losing some of our confidence, feeling afraid to try again. This is a perfectly normal reaction, and not one to beat ourselves up over. Begin taking small steps to rise up again, incorporating the lessons learned from those difficulties, wiser and stronger than ever.