As I was rocking Max the other night, lullaby music playing and lights dim, I caught myself thinking of all the things I needed to do that night, the next day, and so on. I suddenly realized I was missing out on such a special moment, with my sweet toddler on my lap and my unborn baby girl in my belly. Here I was, in the silence of night, with the most precious gifts a women can receive.Throughout the day, my toddler is active and expressing as much independence as he possibly can; but at night, after the the hectic moments of dinner and bath, I get to rock him to sleep in my arms. Yet, I almost missed out on the experience because my mind was somewhere else.
Too often, we get so busy that we forget to live in the moment, robbing ourselves of what life is really all about. An unknown author said it perfectly:
“When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past.”
This couldn’t be a truer statement, yet why is it such a struggle for people? I think it’s because living in the moment actually requires conscious effort on our part. Our lives today are so busy that we have a hard time slowing down and actually relishing in the moments that make life so special. Like most fields of thought, there are the extreme thinkers, those who strive to practice “mindfulness” every moment of the day. I’m not one of those people. There are bills to plan for, grocery lists to make, and events to take place in our lives that steal our thoughts and energy sometimes. And as for the past, I love to remember people and events in my life. In fact, retaining a solid memory to hold on to is one of the reasons I think it is so important to become more aware of some of our most special moments in the present.
Whether you are someone who tends to nostalgically think about the past or anxiously worry about the future, slowing down is possible.
- Increase your self awareness. Become aware of your feelings, thoughts, and body. What is your breathing like at the moment? Is your mind racing?
- Take notice of your environment. What are the sights and sounds around you? Is there a breeze on your face or a warm sun?
- Practice deep breathing and prayer and meditation regularly. This quiet time for yourself is essential for your physical and psychological well being.
- Make an effort to notice when you are thinking about other things at a time when you should be concentrating on the here and now.
Cherish each moment, each hour in each day,
The enemy, Time, just keeps slipping away.
Life passes so swiftly and waits for no man,
So cherish each second while you still can.
One moment of anger is one moment lost,
You can never regain it, but that is the cost
Of moments we squander on hatred and fear.
Too late we discover the cost was too dear.
Cherish your loved ones before it’s too late,
In case life without them is part of your fate,
Tell them you love them while they are still here,
So they’ll know their existence is what you hold dear.
Don’t waste time reflecting on trivial matters
Don’t worry and fret while watching dreams shatter,
Grab hold of those moments and turn life around,
Just cherish those moments while they still abound.
We cannot step backward to relive one hour.
Recapturing time is not in our power,
And as we grow older, time goes by much faster,
So cherish each moment, they’re gifts from the Master.
By Shirley Love
I also suggest a post from Finding Joy, but warning, you may cry!