When you get older and life becomes a little more mundane, grasp on to the little things.
When you realize life didn’t turn out exactly had you had envisioned or planned, focus on what turned out amazing.
During life’s turbulent moments or when you question what is to come, have gratitude for what is.
Hold on to each moment, because that moment is all we truly have. Not the one we worry about which is the future moment that hasn’t happened (and may never) and not the moment that passed, the one we can’t get back, the one we mourn and long for. It’s gone.
We only have this moment, right here, right now. That’s it!
We spend so much time as human beings in 2 places, the future and the past. If you are like me, you spend a significant amount of time worrying about what is to come and focusing on what already happened. In my lifetime, I have spent very little time in the now, in this moment, in the present.
Because of this I have been missing these moments and losing time, which is something I am determined not to lose….precious time. There is truly so little of it and wasting time feels like extreme self sabotage.
I have started coaching myself on being present, its not rocket science, its not even painful, it just takes consciousness and the ability to snap out of whatever state you are drifting off in, to get back to the present moment. At any given time I can literally wander in and out of the past and future, focusing on what happened, which I wish went differently and how much I long for something that is gone. Shifting to worrying about something that could or might happen and what if it does and because of this my fight or flight kicks into a defense mode to help me cope with the pre-conceived issue my mind made up from worry. Its exhausting.
Its actually insanity!
So, I am taking steps whenever this happens, which is very often, to shifting my mindset in the right direction. When my mind starts to wander to the “what ifs” of life….I say a short but well known mantra “be here now”. I then ground myself with something that I love, something that calms me to pre-occupy myself which is usually my gardens (oh how I love my beautiful gardens). When my mind starts going in a million directions, focusing on loss or worry…..grounding saves me. I am good at this.
I have lived with an anxiety disorder my entire life, since as early as I can remember. I recall that during childhood anxiety attacks I would always see this big red ball that appeared to want to roll over me, but doesn’t. The anxiety was about that ball being on the edge of rolling over me…but as a child I couldn’t explain that. In any event, I have worked my entire life to figure out how to “cure” this anxiety. Sadly I discovered that there really is no way to cure for it, but there are wonderful and magical ways to “manage” the anxiety. One way that has worked for me the past four years is grounding. I have written articles about it, its a wonderful technique.
My point about the anxiety is, people with anxious minds (whether diagnosed with an actual anxiety “disorder” or not) tend to shift from past to future skipping over the present and they aren’t even conscious of it. It is very difficult for those of us with anxious minds to be in the now. Focusing on here takes work and consistency. If you can imagine it is like a brain re-wire.
I had a very cool therapist during my divorce that worked with me on patterns and how to break them. At first, the notion seemed impossible, I had been doing things the same way since I could remember, changing my pattern seemed almost ridiculous. However, he used a fantastic analogy (which I hope I don’t butcher here) which really resonated with me, he said, when you go for a walk in the woods, you take a path that is already established, there is no brush in the way, the path is already worn, many people have taken this path, it is safe for you because it is known, its a known path. However, you know that there is a better way, a short cut, however you would have to make the path yourself, you would have to cut down the brush, walk through prickers, and have to mat down the grass and brush by yourself and over time to establish this path. It is scary, it might even be painful, and it is unknown as to where this path actually leads, even though you know its a better path. However, once you travel this path consistently for a period of time, it becomes the right path and you no longer look back to the other worn, well traveled path, because it no longer serves you.
A M A Z I N G!!!
And yes, I carved a new path. It did take about 4 years, but I did it and it was so worth the struggles.
How does this story relate, if you carve a new path for yourself, determined to change your thinking pattern and look at the world from a different perspective it will become second nature, you will have carved this path and it will be your new path. You will start to be more present, grounded, mindful and your perspective will start to shift to one that focuses on the now and all the opportunities that are ahead of you instead of your rear view mirror!
Start cutting that path, today!