Sometimes I feel like my proverbial plate is always full. Not only full, but I can see the next heaped up serving of tasks coming my way. I frantically try to make space, pushing things aside to make room for more. Staring at this plate I wonder, how am I ever going get through it all. Life keeps moving, goals are met, and on to the next. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. I'm also a daydreamer and get caught up in future goals thinking to myself “I’ll be happy when…” fill in the blank, get more fit, afford a house, go on vacation. The days, weeks, and months pass and suddenly I’m celebrating yet another birthday or new year. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. It’s easy to lose track of the present moment when things are so freaking busy! You might be thinking, but I really do want to get that degree, buy a house, start a family, go on that vacation. However, when the days feel like trudging through mud to reach those goals, life starts consisting of the struggle and less about enjoying the moment. This daily trudging feeling is counterproductive to health and happiness, losing sight of the good right here in front of us. As humans we are hardwired to achieve and evolve. Working towards goals gives us meaning but we have lost sight of the fact that happiness is happening now if we could just allow ourselves to embrace it. I understand that life can require a certain amount of blood sweat and tears to get through such as going back to school, starting a business, or the first year of parenting. Ask any parent and they will tell you as their child grows up that they miss having an infant. That they wish they would have stopped and enjoyed those moments more. So here’s my question, how can we do both? How can we as women keep our our goals intact and enjoy the present moment? This is a deeply personal question and everyone’s process is different.Take some time and explore the things that make you feel happy in the moment. Being present means not thinking about what to do next or imagining how much better you will be once xyz happens. It means recognizing that we are holding happiness right in our hands. I want to share some things that help me practice staying in the now. Be unreachable for an hour. This means putting the phone away, taking the smartwatch off and just doing your thing. Notice what you get yourself into. You might find a new hobby, discover the space to think and process your week, read a book.Exercise. Whether thats a class, on your own, running, swimming, whatever. There is literally something for everybody out there when it comes to exercise. Research has proven vast benefits not only physically but mentally too. When your heart is pumping, muscles are working hard its pretty tough to think about anything else. Thats what being in the moment is. Connect with nature. Go for a walk, hike, enjoy the sun, sit in a garden, watch the birds. “Stop and smell the roses"Express gratitude. Gratitude improves your physical health. It improves sleep, self esteem, increases resilience, and reduces aggression. Here’s my challenge to you. Next time you’re eating a meal with yourself or your favorite people think and share how grateful you are for that moment. I love doing this! Even when things are hard there is always something to be grateful for. A dear friend of mine and I would sing this song to each other to playfully remind each other to stay present. We would sing it during college graduations, road trips, fun nights out. It always brought me back to the moment. Give the song a listen, sorry for people who don’t like country music!
We’re getting older, so are our parents, our kids, our partners, our friends. My life goal is to be able to look back and say that I truly chose to enjoy this life. The only way to do that is to be present in what’s happening right now. So I’m curious, how do you honor your now?