The greatest gift I can offer every person in my life as well as myself is living from my heart in this moment. It is in this moment that I can connect deeply with every breath I take as I experience the miracle of life. In this precious moment I can become a world-class listener as I bring my full attention to the people I love. I will receive the maximum yield on life when I slow down and engage in the elongated moments that make up my days.
This idea of living presently seems so simple. Yet, in our culture of exploding technology and super social-media, it’s not what’s happening. Many times, I have been out to dinner and looked over at two people sharing a meal together in a restaurant, and instead of talking to each other, they are texting someone else. Sometimes, not being present in the moment can also be life threatening. More and more people are losing their lives in automobile accidents because of their texting. These are the obvious examples of not being present but what about the less obvious ways we let the gifts of our day slip away unnoticed? Simple blessings gone because your mind is “somewhere else” while your children are talking to you. Often, we treat life as if we have all the time in the world, while the reality is, all we really have is this moment. Many of us live as if we will never die, putting off the things that matter most. Our minds are busy and have been conditioned to multi-task to get more done. A side-effect of this conditioned busyness is that instead of embracing this gift of presence, we worry about a future that hasn’t happened, and we dwell on events that we cannot change from our past.
Our children, especially the small ones, are our best teachers of what it truly means to embrace the moment. They are completely tuned in, uncluttered by expectations, belief systems, and egos that create fear and distraction. They seize life with complete enthusiasm and immerse themselves in whatever captures their attention. I am blessed to often spend time with my thirteen-month-old grandson, Caden. I am always in awe of how captivated he is with a hose, two plastic bowls, and a kitchen whisk. During these precious moments, I put my cell phone away so I am completely there to drink in the joy I feel as I watch him play. I know, now, what a magical age this is and I know, now, not to miss a moment of this time.
Bringing your attention to the here and now takes practice and mindfulness. Take inventory of your thoughts; notice how distracted you are by things you cannot control. Practice connecting with the now, breathe deeply, landing in your body with awareness. I have always practiced an early morning ritual that includes a ten-minute meditation followed by ten minutes of inspirational reading. It is during this peaceful start to the day that I set my intention to be present, attentive, and a great listener. I find a safe and peaceful place within, and no matter how busy I get, I return to this place inside with every breath throughout the day. It is my sanctuary and safe place to land.
Remember to live this moment and each day as if it could be your last and you will experience greater joy and deeper fulfillment. Let go of your fears and be here now. In this moment all is well and you can be at your very best.
Kristine Carlson captivated readers worldwide with her first three bestsellers Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women and An Hour to Live, An Hour to Love: The True Story of the Best Gift Ever Given of her life with her late husband, Dr. Richard Carlson. In the first new book in the Don’t Sweat series since Richard’s passing, Kristine shares her wisdom with moms, offering tried-and-true advice that will empower them to find greater peace, joy, and harmony within themselves and their homes. Check out the new book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms.
* Photo by Dr.Fitz!June 5, 2012