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how to be more present in new year

how to be more present in new year

by January 7, 2015 0 comments

Change is not something we should fear. Rather something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or bloom and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.” ~ unknown

The start of a new year finds me eager to find greater stability and steadiness when every turn continues to provide some kind of change. I return to my intension that I set for 2014, Being Present. I wonder how present I have been this past year? If you ask my kids, I imagine they would argue that I have been attentive for the most part but like most working single moms distracted, traveling too much for their liking, and even a little agitated.

being presentWe were in New York recently for my son who is receiving treatments for a benign tumor. As beautiful and magical as New York is at Christmastime, there was a bitter sweetness to the trip. Our first jet-lagged stop, was the doctors’ visit. The weekend was a mixture of pure joy with a light snow on our last eve combined with utter frustration with a lack of clarity at who will continue to be my son’s primary care physician post treatment.

And, isn’t that life? A see-saw of emotions rock us from one end to the other. Instead of trying to balance in the middle, I find that if I can instead pause and search for a glimmer of sweetness even in the most challenging situations, I am calmer, more in the flow of each precious moment.

“Being in the present moment” will stay on the front burner of my awareness again this year. To do this, I’ve begun to use a “focal practice.” I’m not sure where or when I began this, but it has stuck with me and helped me reign in my inattentiveness, especially with my kids. When I am in any situation: one I’m unsure of or one I’d rather not be in, I take a breath and imagine that there is no place I’d rather be, nothing I’d rather be doing, and no one else I’d rather be with. Then, I take one thing- one beautiful or even ordinary moment, image or conversation from the day and write it down.

Expanding on that moment, I journal how it made me feel. Grateful, angry, happy, or confused. Next, I expand on how I feel it will change me, for the better. By writing this moment down, I will be more likely to recall it later and use it to launch into gratitude. Feeling grateful enables me to begin to see how powerful each actually moment is.

This is not easy. This being human thing gets in the way of my perfection. Or I should say perfectionism. I’m kidding, of course. It’s a day by day, moment by moment process. The more I learn to pause and choose to feel, the easier it is to comprehend that the very next moment holds more grace and potential than I could have ever have plotted with my own desire to be “perfect”.

Nothing like children to remind us that our seesaws are often tilting too much to one side. When this happens next, I’ll hop off, make note and find that glimmer of gratitude. So for 2015, I’ll add the intention of contentment to being present and may the marriage of the 2 bloom into wholeness creating change in my perfectly imperfect tendencies.

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