Ironically enough, I had the idea for this blog in my head last night, and didn't remember it when I first woke up. That was a prime example of not living in the moment. I was too busy making a to do list and it was only through the great coffee meditation that I remembered the topic.
The other day I pulled out my dusty gratitude journal, a lovely little book with "Flaming June" on the cover given to me by an old friend. I hadn't written anything in it since June of last year. The journal has gotten me through some extraordinarily tough times: my husband's serious, undiagnosed (for two and a half years), chronic illness, my battles with depression, two moves (each one a "downgrade"), and so many other events in our lives. I used to spend 5 or ten minutes writing in it every morning as my coffee was brewing.
I would write some outrageous things that hadn't even happened yet, particularly "I am so grateful now that my husband is healed." That was a mantra repeated over and over throughout the book. I also took the time to thank the universe for the things many people take for granted and I wasn't sure we would have: "Thank you for the power bill being paid, for food, for rent." So many of these things manifested through unexpected means. When my husband was at his sickest his family sent us a flood of cards and checks for a period of around three weeks. We were so grateful and didn't know how we would have survived without the help. A gratitude journal is amazing because it can keep you in the moment. Even if the moment hasn't occurred yet you can act as if it has and sometimes manifest great things.
Living in the moment is hard. My good friend V and I discussed this last week. We are both hard driving type A personalities, always looking to the next step in a chain of steps leading to the "ultimate goal." This is not very conducive to living in the moment. We pondered whether or not we even have the capacity to live in the moment. How many of us really do this? Do you find yourself reflecting on the "coulda, shoulda, wouldas" or the "wills" instead of the "I ams?" I am writing in my blog. I am enjoying a cup of delicious Costa Rican coffee. I am realizing that I sound far too much like a wannabe life guru or something.
There are so many clichés which express this, but the reason they are tried and true clichés is because they are true...It is the journey, not the destination. I have spent far too much of my life waiting for my life to begin. I have spent years focusing on my goals only to let valuable friendships dissolve, my health problems run rampant, and lately, I've begun losing focus on what I am trying to accomplish right now. This chaos, and living in an uninspired not-nearly-as-rich-as-it-could-potentially-be, existence is a sort of half life. Waiting for the next thing to happen to you is not living. With the risk of sounding more like a bumper sticker: living is that thing that happens to you while you are waiting for your life to begin. I am going to try to live in the moment for small moments, incrementally, one step at a time. Hopefully this will change my life, we shall see.