Lately I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be present. To actually appreciate each moment in each season for what it’s worth. To not be sad when something ends or too anxious for something new to begin. To understand that it is an actual fact that I will never get today back again and soon this will all be a memory.
I am a big believer in rushing through things (although I don’t want to be). There is just something inside of me that tells me I simply need to get through this one thing to be able to move onto the next. I really hate that this mindset is so innate for me, and I honestly pray for patience all the time. My goal as of lately has been to accept this fact about myself and just acknowledge it, in hopes that over time it will shift.
You all know how into yoga I am and have been for a while, but the other day I also downloaded the Headspace app to attempt to learn how to meditate. For someone like me who has a hard time sitting still without some kind of a distraction (like a book, something on the TV, or a podcast playing), meditation seems super intimidating. Just, like, sitting still and somehow not thinking? Seems impossible. However, I have been surprised to find how refreshed I have felt after I have done it for just three minutes a day over the past five days. Do I sit there in complete silence and just imagine blank spaces in my mind? No way. But do I notice the thoughts when they come up and let them pass? Yes. And when I sit there once I am done (again, after only three minutes), I just feel different. I don’t really know how to explain it, but things just seem clearer to me.
I really hope to keep up this meditation practice, but I also hope to learn to put it into practice throughout my days. When I am not able to be present, I miss out on what is going on right in front of my eyes. I don’t even give myself the opportunity to acknowledge things, because I am so focused on my to-do list and what I need to do next. If and when I finally learn how to “meditate all day long,” I strongly believe that I will be happier, calmer, more patient, and more willing to step outside of my comfort zone.
This is really the first time I can remember when I have thought seriously about this topic. During this season of my life, I have been very focused on two things – family and taking care of myself. Winter in Michigan brings about a time of being inside a lot. A time of reading, sleeping, and all around just relaxing. There isn’t too much to do, so I tend to think a lot more during this time. Through focusing on deepening family relationships and ensuring I am the best possible version of myself I can be, I have started to learn how to be present and appreciate small moments for what they are. Because at least for me, the small moments usually mean a lot more to me than the big ones (although the big ones are pretty cool, too).
Here’s an example of how this played out in my real life from just the other day:
I had plans with my mom during the afternoon, and she showed up at my house about 30 minutes earlier than we had planned. I was planning on using that time to prep dinner for Chris and I so I wouldn’t have to do the work later, because I didn’t think I would have enough time upon returning home from being with my mom and leaving for my yoga class at the gym. My first thought when I saw her car pull up in my driveway, was “oh crap!” I started rushing around trying to clean up my kitchen and get myself ready, and then I realized, “who cares?” I put all my stuff down and sat down with her at the kitchen table, eat snacks, and work through some computer stuff she had questions on for work.
We went on to have a great afternoon together and when I got home, I forgot about getting dinner ready and took some time to nap/read a book. Then I went to yoga, and my friend Hannah ended up spontaneously joining me which was so fun. After that, Chris and I realized it was our five-month wedding anniversary (not that it’s a big deal to us, but we just thought it was cool we realized on the actual date) so we decided to go out for dinner at one of our favorite breweries and then stop for Italian ice before we headed home. I ended up having such a fun day and enjoyed it so much more than I would have if my mindset had stayed the same as it was in the morning.
I notice little things like this happening every single day, multiple times throughout the day. As I get older, I am slowly realizing the importance of slowing down and really savoring the different seasons I flow in and out of. Like I said, right now I am in a pretty quiet season that I am just loving. I so enjoy the time I have at home and that I usually have nowhere to be. It allows me to practice spontaneity (something else I am also not very good at), but also helps me to appreciate truly having no plans and indulging in a good book on the couch for two hours on a random Tuesday and not feeling guilty about it.
So I suppose this post is my long-winded way of saying that I want to be more in the present, I find that when I am I am a better person, and I would love any tips you have on this topic if you have struggled with the same thing!
Have a great Tuesday. 🙂