As summer break transitions to the start of school, I can’t help but wonder if I lived the summer months well. Summer camps came and went, vacation with friends and extended family ended. All reside as fond memories in my mind, and nothing else.
Two and a half months trickled by, one summer moment after another moved from the present “NOW,” to what we qualify as “the past.”
So ... did I live those moments well? Did I offer a full, loving representation of myself? Moment after moment, all summer long?
If I’m not careful, I realize that my present moments are being dominated by my habitual ways of thinking and acting, instead of the woman I’ve set out to be. There’s nothing easy or smooth about transitioning from who you are to who you want to be, because growth is challenging.
But it’s also worth it.
Well, I’ve collected a list that I’ve been implementing into my own life through the summer.
Here it is:
-Laugh out loud for no reason at all. Start laughing more throughout the day. (This gets me some crazy looks from my family, but usually they start to smile, and eventually find themselves joining me.)
-Breathe deeply throughout the day.
-Stamp out any single negative thought by replacing it with a positive one.
-See all challenges in life as an opportunity for growth.
-Respect your time. Say no, so you can say yes to what matters.
-Stand tall, hold yourself with confidence, smile.
-Care about others. Look them in the eyes and really LISTEN to them.
In order to let go of our habitual ways of living, and dive more fully into the NOW, we have to have a real picture of what LIVING in the present actually means.
Here is a paraphrased excerpt from Dan Millman, author of The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and many other books. This is what he has to say about the present moment:
"We feel regrets about the past, but that past doesn’t exist except in our mind right now. We keep the regret alive with pictures we conjure up. We feel anxiety about the future, but that future doesn’t exist except in our mind right now. We keep the anxiety alive with the pictures we imagine. The present moment is not an abstract concept: time [any time outside of this moment] is the abstract concept. Only this moment exists. Everything else is part of the mind’s magic lantern show. Our physical bodies live in the present moment, and despite all of our minds' thoughts about mistakes in the past or anxiety about the future, only NOW exists."
It’s a beautiful thing, the present moment, if we let ourselves really feel it. I don’t want to miss my son’s joke, or my daughter’s smile, or the joy that comes from sitting across from my husband at the dinner table. These are life’s moments. This is what we have. This is now. This is life.
As we transition into autumn, I wish for you and your family the ability to tap into the NOW. I wish for you to BE in the present moment. I wish for you to feel fully alive.
Many blessings and much love,