Like the rest of the world (many of you anyway) I started out this year positive and working towards a goal. Here it is, the first week of February 2014 and none of my hopes, dreams, or plans have even come close to reality. Of course it’s only February, but if January is any indication of the rest of the year, it’s time to toss out the plans. (I’ll keep the hopes and dreams.)
Learning To Live In the Moment
I am constantly reassessing my life. It’s a healthy type of thing. But for the last seven months, I’ve been racing towards a goal (not important for the story) that was not attainable. I thought it was but I was wrong. In doing so, I lost valuable time in other areas of my life that were very important to me. My thoughts were, “If I just get here, I could start this.” “If I go here and there, I will get that.” You get the picture. And through it all, I tried to stay positive, speak positive, etc.
I recently read part of a book (I’m notorious for reading “part” of a book) that talked about how a realist handles being positive all the time and work at finding happiness. I’m a realist and for those of you who don’t know what that is; dictionary.com says this: “a person who tends to view or represent things as they really are.” Now I just stumbled upon the book from a post on Facebook, went to Amazon.com, and read about six pages, but I got the gist and it was somewhat enlightening, or maybe more validating. I may actually buy it and read the entire thing. I’ll let you know if I do. (Update: I did not get the book. I can’t even remember the title.)
In a nutshell, it was saying that the constant striving for happiness and being positive even when things are difficult can actually use up our energy and waste time, potentially causing us more stress than if we acknowledge our crummy situation instead of trying to deny that it is crummy. I could not figure out how to portray that in a few short sentences, so there you have it!
The more I read and meditated on the times I have joy in my heart and the times I am happiest, the more I realized that what I’m doing is not working. I’m back to racing to a goal instead of enjoying life or savoring the moment. I must learn to move towards the goal WHILE enjoying and savoring. No longer will I fail to enjoy the journey in anticipation of the destination. This usually happens to me during life transitions. How about you?
When I worked with other people, it was the time spent with others that gave me joy. It was doing something that I perceived as valuable for others’ benefit that made me happy. People often told me that I’m so happy all the time and I love life! And I am. Things like listening to someone share their day and watching them beam as they talked made me feel good. They felt valued because “someone cared” about them. That made me happy. I care about what they had to say and they felt it.
I will never forget the morning in the hall, in the building where I used to work. A woman walking towards me said, “I’m so glad you’re here. You always make me feel good.” Then she proceeded to hug me. This is someone who appears aloof to others and is not very touchy-feely. She actually hugged me, and I hugged her back. That kept me going for many weeks!
Someone along my path once said, “Look for the good in all people and make them feel worthwhile.” I thought it was a great saying! I took it to heart and have practiced it ever since, to the best of my ability. Remember, I am a realist, so if I say something nice about you, I mean it or I won’t say it at all. While I am divinely human and falter, if I care about you, it is with my whole heart.
Back to living positively and being positive, blah blah blah… Sometimes we focus on the wrong thing or too many things. And in our striving, we buy books and/or materials to help us in our search for inner peace and happiness. We spend so much time looking everywhere but up and within that we miss the moment.
Have you read the book, Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman? The Peaceful Warrior movie was good, but the book is even better! If you don’t get what I mean by living in the moment, read this book. I highly recommend it! It is not a self-help kind of thing. (Well, I guess if it helps you, then it is a self-help kind of thing.)
It is a beautiful story with tragedy, peace, happiness, and life lessons. If you don’t have time to read but you watch movies, then get the movie. Darken the room, close down the computer, and take in the story. Live in the moment. 😉
What Is Different Now
It is February 3, 2014, and I am relearning that the things I spend my time on each day, are not necessarily a waste of time. Some are just more productive than others. Therefore, learning to live in the moment is my current mantra.
All of these moments that we savor ARE the journey. Learning to enjoy the good, get through the bad, and continue on the journey while being thankful for another day is what I strive for.
How about you? Are you with me?
When was the last time you lived in the moment?
Share your story in the comments below.
Copyright ©2014 Susie Glennan
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