This week was a doozy. Ubering the boys from one appointment to another, only without the exchange of cash or a modicum of appreciation. We played the radio game, where kid B cranked a song and then I, with one hand on the steering wheel and no eyes on the road, attempted to lower the volume so my brain would stop vibrating. Up. Down. Up. Down. And then there was hand slapping, and road swerving. And while that dangerously fun game ensued, we tested the audio power of my car speakers and found them to be pretty solid.
I also got to send emails from my phone, eat lunch from my lap, and feel my blood pressure rise as high as the workload I’d amassed in the interim. Ahh, the joys of being an errand girl/ mother. After a full week of such nonsense, I realized the root of my stress, and that all the anxiety I’d carried was completely unnecessary. Sure, it was a hassle having my own plans interrupted, but what is life if not unpredictable?
Haven’t I learned by now how to find balance when the ground starts to shift? Apparently not. Or perhaps I just needed a reminder…
So Here’s What it Means to Be Present in This Moment
As I said in another post, I often use a simple phrase to center myself when life sends me spinning: Be here now. Sometimes I have to check in with my thoughts and see if I’ve stepped into the future or turned my attention to the past. Am I connecting to this very moment? I’m not if I’m lingering in last night’s argument or mentally exploring next week’s events. Being present requires letting go, waking up to what’s in front of me, and bringing nothing more than an empty cup.
An empty cup, you say. What the heck for? Imagine this: If I were to ask you to sample a new beverage, would you bring a full cup? Of course not. You can’t taste a new flavor with a cup full of old liquid. Neither can you experience this moment as it truly is when you bring your expectations, anxiety, regrets, or sense of knowing. How many times have you said, “I just know what kind of day it’s going to be.” I’m sure it became that kind of day too, because the stain of bitterness was already in your cup.
What we see depends mainly on what we look for~ John Lubbock
I’m certain I could have found some calm in the chaos this week. I wonder how things would have been if I’d just practiced awareness and spent each moment in the moment. Here’s a little poem I wrote as a personal promise to do better next time. I hope it inspires you on your journey too.
Today I will:
Stand in the garden of this moment
Mug in hand, I will watch the smooth ribbon of cream swirl in my coffee
Feel the fire of my own breath in my belly
Notice, without care, the rhythm of the counting clock
Inhale the aroma of the earth, the smell of my rain-soaked yard, where damp sticks sit beneath trees
Today I will stand in the garden of this moment, unwrapping the gift of the here and now…