Mindfulness…

So many things keep us from being present in the moment.  Usually, it is thinking about the past or the future.  We should learn from the past, but we cannot change it.  The best thing we can do for our future is be kind to ourselves, right now in the present.

I’ve spent more than the last week in Florida.  For the first time in a long time, I focused on being fully present in the moment as much as possible.

Driving back to Atlanta recently, I spent the majority of the time working to stay in the moment and be mindful about the drive, how I was driving, what I was seeing.  Instead of being somewhere else like the past, thinking about the work I had been doing, or the future, what was coming up.

What can we miss by not being in the moment?  The world can change around us and we won’t even notice.  For instance, look at these two pictures.  The first one I took when I got off the exit.  The second, after I began my turn towards the truck stop.  Less than a minute and the entire sky changed.

sunset 1sunset2

“Simply a sunset,” you might say.  However, as I continued to spend time in that moment, it continued to be one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen in a long time.  As I pulled in to the parking lot, it became so beautiful, I did not want to leave the moment even by taking a picture.

I believe that we often times let so many things take away the peace we could be experiencing right now. We worry or regret, both of which are natural.  Both of which are choices.  Unhappiness comes from wanting things to be different than they are right now.  I get it.  I have been through a lot lately, personally.  So, so very hard.  But by working on being in this very moment, even if for short periods of time, I am then not reliving painful memories or worrying about the people I care for.

I drove for 5 hours and in the end it felt as if it was only a short drive, because of where I was focusing.  When thoughts about things that make me sad, or worry came to mind, I acknowledged them and told myself, “not now”.

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh,

While working today, I took sometime to focus on just my breathing.  The feeling of it going in and going out.  When my breath changed, etc.  My body relaxed.  I did this for about 20 minutes.  When I was done, it felt like I had taken a nap and felt very good.  I am surprised at how well this works.  Taking time to simply relax…

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