Not so long ago, I would have thought that title incomplete. I would have followed it with: When x happens. Or I achieve y. Or z comes to see me. You know, that time when something occurs that you want, and you bask in the happy glow.
Like you, my life is jam-packed. So much needs doing in a day, so many task that may be related or not. We block off two hours in the morning for . . . The next hour to do . . . A parcel of time to finish . . . A quick lunch (maybe at the desk). Then the afternoon block for . . . Hopefully then twenty minutes to meditate. Another span of minutes to hours for . . . Evening comes with exercise. Tending dogs. Personal stuff like eating, showering, and perhaps a few precious minutes to relax before bed.
Whew! And while living life in segments does work (we’re all living testaments to this!), it’s not the only way to be.
Because sometimes we lose the joy in what we’re doing, when so many other tasks await once we finish this one. It’s easy to look ahead to the later morning or afternoon, and see a huge workload remaining. And get tired.
The result is that we’re not in the moment, doing whatever we’re doing. And we forget to savor.
Life is a true gift. We all know this, right? What a wonderful world. And as we get older, we realize that less and less of it remains. That one day, rather than being the caretaker of an elderly, sick, even dying parent, that person on her last leg will be us.
And where did life go?
In my more insane times, I point to those lists and tasks and achievements and say, “There! There’s where life went! See what I did!”
Can’t you just hear the frenzy in that voice? Reminds me of when we’d turn out young colts in the pen and they’d pace the fence, back and forth, back and forth, never stopping, pacing and keeping their gazes focused on the horizon (where most likely other horses grazed). Frenzying.
But then one day it dawned on me (I can be fairly thick) that many of those things I do can occur in pieces. For instance, while sustained exercise is a great thing for all the reasons we know, an hour of it at the end of a day spent sitting doesn’t cut it. The more we sit for long periods of time, the higher our risks are for, well, just about everything negative we know.
A recent report said that we need to get up every ten minutes. Okay, I don’t know about you, but that’s just not happening here! Especially when I’m writing, hours may go by without getting my head back into reality.
With the rest of what I do though, I can surely get up for ten minutes every hour (I like that prescription better 🙂 And behold and lo, when walking around for that time, I can also do ski sits, or vestibular exercises, or little things that awaken my body and therefore, my mind.
It also dawned on my wee brain that meditation didn’t have to be at a set time and place. Most anytime during the day, I can inhale deeply and quiet my mind. If only for a minute. And listen. Because it’s in those times of stillness—even for a brief bat of an eyelash—that I can listen and hear the voice of something wiser. The flashes of insight that come from a source whose thoughts are not my own.
Whether it’s about a plotting problem I can’t piece out in my mind, and from the depths of intuition come the answer. Or a way of seeing a friction in a different light, and how to deal with it appears as if an apparition in the sky.
Those are the true answers, and they come unbidden. Not always when pausing for a wee bit of stillness, but often. And it doesn’t matter if they do arise, because the moment itself is the answer.
As Walt Whitman wrote in Leaves of Grass: “Happiness is not another place, but this place . . . not for another hour, but this hour . . .”
How do you find your moments?