When faced with challenging times, as I have recently experienced, I have found it a daily chore to maintain a positive attitude. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. I know and understand, at an intellectual level, that worrying solves nothing....it will actually create many problems, emotional and physical. But, to sync the heart and head seems impossible. It usually comes back to fear -- fear of the unknown. I know what you're thinking -- nothing profound or new there. There are hundreds of self-help books that address every issue we face and then some. What to do?
I made a choice a couple of weeks ago to subscribe to "living in the moment", or mindfulness. I know, I know, very zen-like of me. But, I had to try something. So, I set out, daily, to live in the moment.
It sounds very prosaic, almost boring. I have been attempting not to focus too much on the future, but, only in the present, and only use the past as a source of reference. What I have found out, for sure, is that living in the moment takes a lot of practice. You have to train for it as though it is a sport. I start out in the morning by looking at my reflection in the mirror, and instead of saying that I need some serious eye cream, I say "today is a good day". I stay in the present ...in the moment. I've been practicing every day and try not to let the distractions -- distract me from my daily goal. The odd thing is...is that is works. And, at the end of the day, just before bed, I look at my reflection in the mirror again, and say " I forgive you". I borrowed that line from Kitty Carlisle, who was a actress, singer, broadway star, etc, many years ago; I saw her being interviewed one time, and that line stuck with me. It gives a clean slate to wake up to in the morning.
The present reveals itself in every moment and often we are too busy to notice. Now that it is the Christmas season, true craziness abounds. I love Christmas, and if you have been reading earlier blogs, you know my current situation -- financially, which prevents me from participating in any gift buying. I have long despised the commercialism of Christmas; I know many of you feel the same way. At the same time, I love seeing expressions on faces of those I have purchased gifts for. I have rarely asked what they want for Christmas, but, rather have always enjoyed exploring shops to find something that matches their spirit. I'll miss that this year and still feel sad about it. But ,being in true mindfulness form, I am no longer worrying about it - well, actrually, trying not to worry. Would I like a small fortune to land on my doorstep, or someone to rescue me, at least in the short term? Is that a trick question? Of course the answer is yes.
To live in the moment, one has to behave as though no one is watching. While I draw the line at talking to myself out loud, I do smile or laugh when I am thinking of something that makes me do so wherever I happen to be. I perform an act of kindness whenever I can, and try to lose track of time and only focus on what I am presently doing. This comes in handy when I know I should be cleaning out a closet, but, instead writing this blog. :)