Living in the present moment is something I've struggled with for a long time. My mind is constantly racing with endless lists of things that I've convinced myself need to be done. An ongoing "to-do" list is pretty much always on my desk, and, on a daily basis, I typically add more things than I cross off. I also have a (separate) list of things I'd like to do, but never really seem to find time to fit in - craft projects to try, books to read, places to visit, classes to take, blog posts to write. Our bookshelves are overflowing with books on gardening, knitting, metalsmithing, connecting with your spiritual side, making relationships work, and starting your own business, to name a few.
You see, I'm often most comfortable seeking out information, gathering facts, making lists, and planning (or reflecting, sometimes endlessly - usually on what I could have done better). And, most often, instead of over-processing every little thing, what I really need to be doing is showing up in each moment mindfully, paying attention to what is happening around me right-this-very-instant, listening to my intuition, and diving into my life head-first. Because here's the irony of it all - I actually learn best and figure things out by doing and experiencing, not by reading and thinking and over-complicating things with too much information.
I've tried really hard, and I can say that it has become a bit easier over the years. But it is also something that I have to work at every single day. And often, I don't succeed.
Over the past six and a half weeks, it's gotten a whole lot easier. Having Thea in my life requires that I am in the moment - pretty much all of the time. This is partly because I have so much to learn about her to be able to effectively mother her and take care of her. But it's also because she is the most amazing, miraculous thing in my life and I don't want to miss a single moment. Suddenly, what the books say doesn't matter as much as what my heart whispers. And the best way to hear those murmurs has been to put away the books and to sit quietly while my intuition speaks.
For now, the lists are gone. Right now, the only thing that makes sense is to focus on what is right in front of me.
And yet, I know it won't always be this way. Thea will continue to grow and change and blossom into her own person. She'll become more independent. Outings will seem less complicated. Getting together with friends will feel more manageable. We'll get into a rhythm. I'll emerge slowly back into the world. I'll resume my work. Hopefully, I'll discover new ways of contributing to the community. I'll make more commitments.
And with these changes, I'm afraid that I'll drift back into the endless lists and the over-booked days. I'm afraid that I will return to looking outside of myself for answers when I should be searching for answers and guidance deep in the trenches of my soul. I'm afraid that I'll stop paying attention to the little, ordinary things that bring such joy into my life. I want to show up in my life mindfully. I want to continue to pay attention to the magic of the everyday. I want to do all this as I re-enter and reconnect with the big world out there.
So, I will go forward slowly. I'll try to carefully consider how I spend my days. I'll try to make sure that what is most important always comes first. I'll try to continue being guided by my intuition.
But I know it won't be easy.
So, in the midst of your busy life, how do you stay connected to the present moment? How do you find ways to slow down and enjoy what is right in front of you? How do you remember to listen to your heart? To follow your spirit?