Yes, this moment. The one you’re experiencing right now. It will be gone before you know it, and in the future you’ll find yourself mentally/emotionally/spiritually revisiting this exact spot in time. You’ll see everything you see right now in a new light–appreciate yourself in a way that you might not appreciate yourself now.
Have you ever thought back to a time in your life that was difficult or challenging and thought, “I was so cute back then.” I do that a lot, sometimes wishing that I could go back and fully experience the tribulation of it all, or quite possibly, the joy. In an effort to better appreciate life (in general) I try to soak in everyday how I’m feeling, where I am, what I love about my life right now, because I know eventually things will change and I’ll think back on this moment right here. I want to know that I appreciated it for all that it was worth.
This… is not easy to do. Living in the moment is less of a checklist and more of a practice. There’s no exact formula for it, though I believe that everyone savors their life in the way that works best for them. I savor mine by taking note of just about everything (case in point: this blog) and also repeating to myself and those around me just how much I appreciate them. For instance, every single day–sometimes multiple times a day–I thank Shelton for being in my life and making me so happy. I usually do this in bed, right before I go to sleep. I thank him for another amazing day and tell him (in so many words) that I can’t wait for tomorrow. Sometimes he beats me to the punch. I learned this from him, as he started thanking me regularly early on in our relationship for the simple things, like a nice quite evening after a long day at work. When was the last time you thanked someone you love?
Last week I had some really great conversations with my friend Alex. She told me that I was radiating inner-peace. I chuckled to myself a little, partially because I knew that a) it was true and b) it made me feel hippie-ish and that tickled me. I guess because I’ve spent so many years in a cynic’s clothing, the feeling of laughing at something so pure sorta comes natural. I can have a sick sense of humor, let me tell you.
We talked about how challenging it can be to live in the moment, and not project. I’m the most futuristic person you’ll ever meet, so this is something that I have to constantly keep myself in check on. It’s so easy for me to slip off into Future Land, where everything looks different than it does now. Through lots of trial and error, I’ve learned to embrace the fuzziness of life. I think one of the biggest disservices you can do to yourself is simply plan out your future. Beyond big stuff, like “I’d like to be a doctor,” or “After the holidays I think I’ll start applying to jobs out of the state,” don’t sit there and make a ‘life checklist’ with items on it like…
- Meet husband in college
- Married by age 24
- Children by 25!
…because you might be shocked that you’re burnt out by twenty-five and a half.
Take a moment. Close your eyes. Take stock on your life, how you feel, what you adore, what you wouldn’t change for anything, appreciate the imperfections. Now: imagine that your life is frozen. Physically, nothing will change. You can work out if you want to, but you won’t lose weight. Your current job is now your lifelong career. Your house is now your home forever.
How does that make you feel? If the only thing you could change moving forward was your outlook in this frozen world, you would have to two choices: accept the things you cannot change or be miserable, forever. I don’t know about you, but Door Number One is looking pretty enticing. The beauty of this exercise is the realization that you have the ability to adjust/alter/change anything in your life, and that is exciting. No one is confined to one path. We always have a choice.
Will you choose to embrace this moment?
Last week I completed Susannah Conway’s amazing workbook Unraveling The Year Ahead: 2013. I was pretty much a life changing experience, as it forces you to really think about the past year in new ways. It really opened my mind to a lot of subconscious feelings and overall, made me feel extremely calm and ready for the year ahead.
Highlights (for me):
- Choosing a word for 2013
- Writing a letter from my 2015 self to my 2012 self (maybe I’ll post it here for you to read!)
- Declaring my secret wish for the upcoming year
Deciding upon my secret wish was by far the hardest part of this activity. Over 2012 I was given so many beautiful gifts, awakenings, understandings… what more could I ask for? But then it hit me.
I still don’t know what my purpose is. I am 25 years old and don’t know what I’m meant for. Or, better yet, how I can strike a balance between a passion for something finite and make a living for myself? If I could get one iota closer to figuring that out…
You would not meet a happier person.
So, 2013 will be all about pushing myself, in all aspects of my life, to new limits. To living and loving every moment.
Are you with me?