Like many of you, the past few months have been challenging for me and filled with a lot of anxiety. This past weekend, however, was a treat that my nervous system needed… We spent several days at our family’s cabin in the woods. We hadn’t been anywhere since February, so this trip was long awaited and much needed. As we arrived, I was overcome with gratitude. The beauty and comfort of the cabin, the smell of the trees, the peaceful and healing energy of this space was exactly what I needed, and I was so happy to be in it. Tears welled up in my eyes as I stood on the porch watching the sunset, and I wondered 'how do I remember this?!' We get so caught up in our daily lives, especially in the struggles thereof, and I just wanted to somehow bank this feeling, I wanted to store it in my being so I could pull on it and remember exactly how this moment felt whenever I want or need to. In my desperate attempt to take in as much as I could, I found myself utilizing a practice I already use often. Ironically, it’s the practice I use for relieving anxiety that I wrote about several weeks ago – mindfulness. It goes something like this…
What are 5 things you can see right now?
What are 4 things you can hear?
What are 3 things you can feel?
What are 2 things you can smell?
What is something you can taste?
Even as I write this I can remember how the deck felt under my bare feet, I can remember the feeling of the cool breeze on my face, and I can hear the sounds of the different birds. I can feel what it felt like to be in that moment, and not just remember that it happened. It turns out that presence, being fully embodied in a moment is not just a distraction from anxiety and chaos. Being well with what is, being fully embodied, connecting to the truth and fullness of a moment is the answer to everything. It can help us manage fears of the future, pains of the past, and wanting to remember the present. There is medicine in the present moment. When you are in pain or in pleasure, connect to your senses; lean into your humanity, and notice what you can feel, see, taste, touch, and hear - without running from it, posting it, or planning for what’s next. When you can live in the fullness and realness of the moment you’re in, you can live in the sweetness of life. This week I invite you to employ this technique as much as possible. To do so is to live life with the wonder of a child. When we’re present we release the emotions of what was or what we hope will be, and we can simply open up to what is – right now. We remember that the present is a gift, and we can appreciate all that we're being given.
May you enjoy the gift of the present, today and always.
With love and gratitude,