Life Happens in the Ordinary Day-to-Day Moments | Blog
Life Happens in the Ordinary Day-to-Day Moments | Blog
It’s Thanksgiving week here in the US. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year. Airports, train stations and highways are full of people heading home to be with families or friends. People might be taking time off work and school to get away and go on a holiday. For those of us that can’t get home we often celebrate “Friendsgiving”.
It also marks the home stretch for the year. These remaining weeks, as we close out the year, are full of social gatherings, finishing up projects, wrapping up things at work, and shopping. In other words, our schedules are full—extra full. We can get so busy doing, prepping, and getting things done, that we move through it all in a constant state of pressure. In fact, we are so busy that we often rob ourselves of the opportunity to soak in and appreciate the day-to-day. We get hyper-focused on getting things done and we miss many of the amazing moments along the way.
Years ago, when I was leaving my corporate job to start my own business, in my excitement about the next phase, I was impatient and kept looking to the future. I was so excited about what was coming, that where I was started to feel like a problem. I had to “get through it”, then I could enjoy myself more. I had to “survive”, then the adventure would begin. A really good friend of mine called me out on this. She said, “Barb, enjoy these final days. Don’t wish them away or try to speed through them. There are gifts here if you slow down enough to see them and feel them.”
You know when someone says something to you and you immediately feel the truth of it? That’s what happened to me. I could see what she was noticing. I was in my head, living on autopilot, just counting down the days. I was not present and as a result, I was living in a feeling of “waiting” or a feeling of impatience, and trying to hurry through it.
After that conversation, I did my best to slow down, enjoy my final days and appreciate it all. I was nowhere near perfect about it, but this is when I realized a little goes a long way. As I stopped wishing away the days or rushing through them, I started to experience more fun, connection, and gratitude.
Prior to this experience, when others would say, “Stop & smell the roses”—I might have smiled while nodding my head but, to be honest, on the inside I was sort of doing an eye-roll. I would think, “That’s nice for you, but I have things to do.”
What I didn’t know then that I do now is, the fruit of life, the richness of life, is born from those ordinary moments of presence. Those moments of presence become the seeds of new insight, powerful connections and a richer life.
During the big events in life and work, we often remind ourselves to get present and enjoy it. On wedding days, we say to the bride and groom to take it in, enjoy it, be present because the day flies. When we go on vacation, we do our best to soak it all in, make the most of it. When we accomplish new milestones in life or work, we celebrate and thank those involved.
Yet in our day-to-day lives, we often miss the small opportunities to enjoy what is present. To enjoy the common ordinary moments that make up our lives.
As we move into the final weeks of the year and the final weeks of this decade, I wanted to take a pause and take a moment to remind myself & encourage all of us to experience all that life has to offer us. To slow down and experience the gifts that are right in front of us. To let ourselves experience the richness of what is. Right now. Wherever you are. Whatever you’re doing, and with whomever is there.
I have a habit of rush and a busy mind. I can get sped up and hold all the things I have to do on my mind. When I do that, I live in a feeling of being behind. This is how it works. When our minds are focused on our schedules, our to do’s, our never-ending lists and deadlines, we live in the feeling of pressure and overwhelm. When our minds are focused on “getting through”, or longing for the next thing, we live in a feeling of dissatisfaction.
I used to think my feelings of pressure where a signal that I needed to get busier. Now I see them as a wakeup call that I’m not present—that I’m lost in my thoughts and revved up. When I feel impatient or dissatisfied, I know I’m suffering from thought. The way out is coming into the present moment. Away from all my thinking.
It is easy to underestimate the power of the present moment. We misunderstand and think good feelings and well-being are at the end of the list or the workday or the shopping. What if it’s right here and now?
What if we were able to experience more joy, love, and connection, right here and now. We don’t have to delay—we simply stop, and allow our minds to come to this moment. From there, we lighten up. We fall into our natural selves and we are present. We are whole. We are connected. We are resilient.
A sense of gratitude emerges when we wake up to the present moment, to what is alive and precious. Grateful and awake, say what you want to say—NOW; love what you love—NOW; love whom you love—NOW.
We do not have to wait to feel good, grateful, or connected. Peace of mind, ease of mind, are there beneath the noise of our busy lives. These moments of connection to our well of being, fill us up and give us what we need.
My wish for us all is moments; moments of presence, connection to others, and to our true nature.
In the words of my friend, “Enjoy these final weeks and days of the year. Don’t wish them away or try to speed through them. There are gifts here if you slow down enough to see them and feel them.”
“A sense of gratitude emerges when we wake up to the moment, to what is alive and present.”
Years are made of days and days are made of moments and a life well-lived is rooted in the seeds of those moments.
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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company bringing the insights of performance and fulfillment to clients around the world. She helps organizations, leaders, entrepreneurs and coaches access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of performance in work and life. Barb is the Founder of Beyond Limits in Business and host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. If you’d like to experience in-depth, robust and transformative mentoring for you and your business check out Barb’s 6-month Beyond Limits Small Group Mentoring Program. You can follow Barb on Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram. You can also subscribe to her weekly blog on her website at barbarapatterson.com