OK, I am pretty sure most, if not all, of us have heard this before — It is not about getting to the end point. It is about the journey! Hearing of a family friend’s sister passing this week in the middle of a very well lived life reminds me to connect with what is truly important in this gift of life. Therefore, I feel humbled to start the conversation of being, living, and enjoying the here and now.
All too often, we get caught up in the stuff that does not deserve the amount of energy we put into it, thus taking away from our ability to have a higher value in each day. For instance, we get caught up in goals — we all have them. I’m a big proponent of goals too. I too have my deadlines, my get-it-done lists, calendars, project planners, etc. Give yourself the opportunity to take a break from these intrusive thoughts and stressful ordeals.
Some of us have that last 10 pounds that we just can’t lose. It makes us miserable and rules each day. Others wish their thighs were a little smaller, their rear end tighter, their muscles larger. Some wish they were a little younger, a little older, a little wealthier. We also have our daily demands that zap our ability to live in the moment to the fullest.
In the midst of our internal struggles and demanding lives, how can we cultivate the space and time to enjoy ourselves and connect with loved ones? Here are some suggestions that I have personally found helpful, and they may be worth a try:
- Cut out social media for one day each week. (Replace it with a face-to-face encounter with people whose presence you enjoy.)
- Write an actual letter or note to one or two people who have been on your mind — and let them know just that.
- Show up and participate in a community volunteer event.
- Connect, at the moment, to the meal you are about to plan or order. Does it honor your body and energy?
- Seek out the small wonders within each day; for example, take the time to notice and appreciate the grace of a tree or the swirl of clouds in the sky
Life is short and even shorter for some of us. We don’t know our ultimate timeline. So, let’s make a promise to move forward with mindfulness, intention, and an attitude to savor it. Let’s steward our health, our hearts, our community, and our planet, not with an overwhelming obsession but with active engagement when presented with an opportunity.
Enjoy and savor the journey. Don’t get caught up in seeking the end result. Plan, yes. Set goals, excellent. But step back each and every day and affirm your intention to celebrate your journey and move forward with excitement, love, compassion, and the power of knowing you are living well and honoring yourself, your health, and your environment in the here and now.
How can you reflect on your “here and now”? How might you share a pact to appreciate better and nurture your daily experiences? Hold an open discussion, smile, hug yourself, hug someone else, or stop to admire some aspect of nature or a stranger’s good energy. If you see less than desirable energy, use that opportunity to think about how you can help expand the positive power around you. It is often creating new habits using the simplest of things that are the most effective.