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Listen, sometimes I hate social media. I'm sure I'm not the only one. A few days ago someone posted "We will never be here again." It's one of those cute, easily consumed tropes you find on the intern...
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If I'm truly listening to my body, I think quite often it is telling me to lay the hell off. To enjoy the moments in the sun as much as the run itself. To remember that my yoga practice is about what feels good for my body, right now.
I declared that I would live only in the now for 30 days. This meant I could not think about the past or the future -- I would only focus on what was happening in the moment. Sounds easy, but what an awakening experience. If I started to think about how something went wrong in the past or worry about something in the future, I would stop myself and release the thought and get back to the present.
For as long as I can remember, I have been an obsessive planner. I love to make plans, to organize, to prepare. And I'm quite good at it, too. Long-term goals, schedules. These are things I like. A fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants girl, I am not. With my cancer diagnosis, a lot of things came crashing down around me.
The Christmas season was much different for me this year. I had another operation in mid-November, which was necessary and related to my reconstruction, but a blessing at the same time. It gave me the time leading up to the holidays to recover, de-stress and relax.
The Christmas season is a time when our focus narrows to a shorter time-frame. Right now, we're all preparing for what happens between now and December 31. Maybe Christmas is a good time to practice living more in the present, being fully there at those gatherings of family and friends.
I have been in a perpetual state of anxiety about the future. When I get those jeans, nab that boyfriend, lose those 10 pounds, learn that dance move, I will be happy. I have always had this sinking feeling that I was waiting for something to make my life perfect. But my life IS perfect. I have a life after all, and every single second is beautiful and precious and needs to be acknowledged and given great attention.
Flickr: Michael Behrens
A dear stay-at-home mama friend of mine recently reflected on the idea of being "present," which got me thinking: am I present and in the moment with our children? And if so, is that really necessary? To be present in every moment? In order to find out, I challenged myself to be present all day, as a sort of experiment. I was present when I ruined my favourite shirt, when the kids were crying, when water spilled all over the kitchen. P.R.E.S.E.N.T.
Life is all about perspective, right? So with the goal of shifting perspectives in mind, I set out this warm sunlit evening to find a little piece of joy in nature so as to cast some perspective and illumination on an otherwise expensive ($2,200 worth of upcoming dental work), depressing (there goes the camper we were going to buy) and discouraging (I am wondering if false teeth are an option for a 38-year-old mother of four) day.