Thursday, April 12, 2007

Living in the Moment

Wouldn't it be nice if, instead of blowing through life like a storm, we actually began noticing we are living it? What if we were to slow down a little and actually pay attention to what is happening?

I went for a walk in my neighborhood this morning, which is a little challenging for me because I tend to get bored with the same old scenery. My mind is in the habit of running constantly, and bringing it to stillness is a work in progress. I notice a lot more I used to, but there is plenty of room for improvement.

So, this morning, as I was walking and starting to feel mentally restless, I remembered that life is in the moment, and I want to enjoy every one of them I can. So, I asked myself, what is there to enjoy in this moment? I began noticing the softness of the spring air. The sun was warm, but it was a gentle warmth. The birds were singing, but in the moments before this, their lovely songs had been filtered out by mental clutter. As I was walking, I came across a patch of honeysuckle growing on a neighbor's fence. That's another one of my favorite natural scents, so I had to stop and take in the fragrance. That would probably drive a fitness expert crazy, but I feel that true fitness is multi-dimensional, just as true wealth is. If we're only working on getting our bodies in shape, and neglecting our souls and spirits, we are missing out on much of the joy life has to offer. True, physical exercise is good for our hearts, but so is fun, laughter, and enjoying life through all of our senses.

Jo Dee Messina recorded a song titled, Was That My Life? The chorus goes like this:

Oh we just get one
Ride around the sun
In this dream of time.
It goes so fast
That one day we look back
And we ask
Was that my life?

We can live life in the fast lane, hardly taking the time to look around. Or, we can notice the moments and live them as fully as possible. The path of least resistance is to follow the patterns that society has set up for us. We may think there is no other possibility, but the truth is, we follow the path of least resistance because it is easier. Swimming against the current may be more rewarding, but it's not so easy. Coloring outside the lines won't get us the approval we crave, at least not until we create something so spectacular that others can't help but admire it.

Ultimately, though, we are responsible for what we make of our lives. It's more pleasant to say it's all society's fault. The government, or our employer, or our spouse made us do it. We had to do it that way, because we have bills to pay, and mouths to feed. And as long as we hold on to that belief, we will continue to follow the same patterns and feel powerless to change them. But look around. There are people everywhere who are changing them - people who are taking their lives into their own hands, and creating their own success, their own joyful experience of life. Sometimes, getting from here to there requires a lot of inner work, a lot of dropping beliefs that aren't working for us, and a lot of mental reprogramming.

But imagine the rewards! Imagine the possibilities!

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