I had this moment of clarity recently. It doesn’t really matter when or why it happened. But it was this moment where the following thought popped into my head, fully formed and unbidden: Whatever else happens my life is better for this moment, this one right here, this exact moment that I am currently living.
The same kind of calm came over me as does when I am meditating and I can finally, and briefly, get my mind to settle.
I’ve never been good at being in the moment. My mind is a busy place. Most times if you ask me what I’m thinking about I’ll give you a list of several items. Usually I’m writing something that gets stored away in a part of my brain until I can get to a computer. I am thinking of what’s for dinner, of my budget, of chores waiting at home, of marking that needs to be done, of a lesson that I’d like to try tomorrow, of a student I am worried about, of another that I am proud of, of my loved ones. I’m looking back at the past and I’m looking forward to the future and I’m probably a bit worried about all of these things.
And I’m writing something.
All inside of my head, unseen to the outside world.
At. All. Times.
Everything can kind of get stuck up there, busy, and can choke me up so that I have trouble getting out words when I need to. Or want to.
I analyze everything that I say before and after I say it.
If you know me well you know that I say a lot.
The thing is that I’ve really been working on this and I’ve been getting better about it. I’m finding myself in the moment more and more often.
A friend posted this article today which talks about the things that only “over thinkers” will understand. It totally described the person that I used to be.
If you didn’t answer my call or text? For sure you were dead. Or you’d decided that you hated me. Most likely it was that you’d died while hating me.
Mindfulness has shut this off for me. I know that many people will think that this sounds a bit too new-age, fluffy, or something. I’ll send you some science if you think this. This stuff works.
It has literally changed my brain.
I saw this guy a couple of years ago at a mindfulness conference at UBC. I’m not gonna lie, I kinda fell in love with him then and there. Too damn bad I was married at the time, eh? If you have 12 minutes I recommend that you watch this… and try what he recommends.
(Seriously adorable, right?!)
How we can move the entire average up.
When we are talking about our happiness… how can moving the average up not be the goal if it is possible?!
I used to live life like this…
Every time your brain has a success you just change the goalpost of what success looks like.
I don’t anymore. I did the 3 daily gratitudes for 21 days. Then I did the journaling. The meditation I’d been doing for awhile already. I kept it up for months, trying everyday to filter things through the positive lens.
(Exercise is my weak point, haha.)
I’m telling you, everything changed. My brain did begin to scan the world for the positive instead of the negative. I defaulted to happy rather than stressed.
I don’t know how I would have gotten through this year without these skills.
It doesn’t solve everything. Nothing solves it all.
But it’s really nice to have moments like I had the other day. Moments where you know your life is better for having lived them. Moments that you are fully engaged in without any of that other stuff playing in the background.