“Can you tell me, who called the race? / Can anyone stay in one place? / And when you get to the finish line /
Will you wish for more time?” ~ Katy Perry, This Moment
I remember listening to this song the very first time. I was stressing out because my daughter, partner and I were behind schedule which meant that we weren’t going to get to Great Wolf Lodge as early as I had planned. As part of my daughter’s birthday gift, I got her an overnight at the hotel, along with Katy Perry’s new CD Prism. We were listening to it on the drive to Niagara Falls and needless to say that when this song played over the speaks in the car, it put things in perspective. I realized that I was in a race with myself and from that time onward, for the rest of the weekend, I was present and did not let my mind race ahead. I made sure to be at my daughter’s birthday weekend. We ended up having an awesome weekend.
Then a few days passed and I kind of somewhat lost the message. I let life take over again and sometimes would get lost in the day-to-day routine and life would seem mundane but stressful at the same time.
Then I went away for the weekend down south. I totally decompressed and really unwound. My biggest decision of the day would be where to have lunch and dinner, and if an afternoon nap was called for. My eyes were really opened to the simplicity of the place, and I was able to get connected again, truly appreciate what was surrounding me. I realized how blessed I truly am, and this brought forth a great deal of gratitude. I was really present the entire time!
Then a few days passed and I kind of somewhat lost the message. I let life take over again and sometimes would get lost in the day to day routine and life would seem mundane.
Since then I’ve been running around trying to be a superhero and get as many things checked off my to-do list as possible. I find that I’m being short with everyone, and have a sense of anxiousness in my chest. I get really frustrated that people can’t read my mind and do things the way I don’t like. I don’t like disorder of any kind and can’t rest if things aren’t put back in their place. For example, if the dishes are on the counter, and not in the dishwasher, I feel that I can’t enjoy the movie I’m watching in the daughter, I feel them pull me towards them. Or the emails seem to call me, tell me to write them to the people who are awaiting them. Or as I’m laying in bed, I can’t seem to get my mind to slow down. Am I being present? Hell no. But I can feel the conflict between my heart and my mind. My heart is yearning to be present, begging me to slow down and be with things and people who bring me joy, that these things can wait, but my mind keeps telling me “get this out-of-the-way and then you can enjoy whatever it is you want to enjoy.”
So what is going on? At times, I can master this being in the moment thing, and at others, I may as well be in a different galaxy than everyone else. What the heck?
Then a few books came across my path and lo and behold I could see that there was a lesson that I needed to learn at this moment. I had lost what it meant to live in the moment. For the most part, I had stopped seeing the beauty in everything. I didn’t take note of what was in front of me. I forgot to look for the miracle in everything. I forgot to s l o w d o w n. My body was here, right now, but my mind was elsewhere. I was constantly always trying to find ways to make more time by making myself busier. What an oxymoron!
Mark Nepo said it best in “Exquisite Risk – Daring To Live An Authentic Life.”We often feel compelled to sacrifice or postpone the seeds of joy in favor for a practicality that we hope will insure a secure future.” Totally true!
He then went on to say “…reduced to Now, some deeper part of me began to live, holding nothing back. It is a moment that changed my life. And through that deeper part, I began to see that we are delivered through all these gifts and tensions until we are honed by experience into something more and more vulnerable and beautiful.” Yep, totally true! I had forgotten this lesson which was handed to me years ago. This enabled me to get through the darkest times of my life. And I forgot it.
Am I going to beat myself up over it? Nah, that wouldn’t be much helpful. It would only make me feel crappy about myself, and I don’t want that. I know better. What I am going to do is I’m going to be compassionate and forgive myself. There is an ebb and flow in life. We make progress, then we regress a bit, and then make more progress. I’d like to believe that I have just come out of the regression phase and I’m now entering into the progress phase.
So tell me, while reading this, how many times have you left me, or where you with me the entire time?