I was listening to Hay House Radio today and Robert Holden was talking about how important it is to be fully present in our lives.Many times we think that there is something missing in our lives and that something is us.It reminded me of the famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world”
This is not the first time I heard this message because the podcast was on re-broadcast.The first time was right before taking a brisk 5 mile run on Thanksgiving Day.I usually take the dogs out first as a warm up.As I was walking the dogs, and later stretching, I can remember hearing the same words.He was talking to a caller but he could have been talking to me personally.I went on to have a glorious run and forgot all about the message until today.
With the New Year approaching, I am always very conscious of working on positive changes.Truth be told, I really have made positive changes over the years.I know that real and tangible changes are possible.I also know that making a general change like “being fully present”, though seemingly vague, can be brought into all areas of one’s life.
I posted recently about making time and creating space.This could be the third installment, a trilogy if you will.First, make the time to do things, create space for those things to happen, and most importantly, be fully present throughout the process.Now I realize that there are some days that just showing up is about all you can manage.During times of stress, illness, or tragedy it’s all you can do to put one foot in front of the other.I get that.Let me explain.
When I started this blog, I was a complete novice and still am, in fact.I am constantly bombarded with thoughts ( and sometimes unwanted comments) that bring that to my attention.I have a deep rooted fear of “doing it wrong” so to speak ( whatever the HELL that means!) What I am beginning to understand is that doing something wrong, flawed, or incorrectly can be preferable to doing nothing at all.Inactivity teaches you nothing.You can’t live and learn if you don’t live.Living can bring pain but it can also bring joy and many times you can’t have one without the other.
Frankly, the hardest thing for me to bear lately is disappointment.Why? There has just been so much of it in my life that it is a stinging, painful wound.I have been holding back.
There,I said it.
I have been afraid to invest myself fully for fear of disappointment.The wounded person inside seems to whine, “but how do you know this time will be different?” There really is no way of knowing for sure.
Several years ago I talked to a counselor about several issues one of which was drinking alcohol.I was concerned about my drinking but, truth be told, did not see myself as an alcoholic.She didn’t either, actually.She encouraged me to get away from the heavy idea of alcoholism and consider taking a short break from drinking in favor of being 100 percent present.HMMM….I shared this with a couple friends, and even some of those who struggle with drinking themselves.It got their attention.”Wow, 100 percent present,” they mused.Since then I have had short periods of abstinance from alcohol but I have not necessarily been as successful with being 100 percent present.
What, then is being 100 percent present? Giving your 100 percent effort, for sure.If you aren’t giving 100 percent, then why not?Do you have reservations? Are you afraid of something or are you practicing “self care?” Knowing how to say NO is as much a part of being present as saying YES if you are clear on why.Many times I feel limited in my time and energy.This becomes more apparent as I get older.Work smarter-not harder is a familiar theme for me.Then again, do I use that as an excuse? Maybe, at times, it can be a smokescreen for resentment.
I can’t do everything and I sure as HELL can’t do everything right all the time.So what? As my husband is fond of saying, “Perfection is the idol of failures.” Translation-failures make excuses, wait for ideal conditions and circumstances, and then bemoan their lousy luck instead of just going for it.By the way, perfect is relative.Perfect by whose standards? If Chuck Berry was a perfect jazz musician we might not have one of the most influential rock and roll guitarists of all time.
All this is well and good but when it comes to the real challenge, can I do it? I think so.A good place to begin is to look at what I have been avoiding and why.It means feeling my feelings.It could mean asking myself, “Am I here right now or have I checked out?”
So there you have it.At the risk of using a bad pun, why not give the gift of being fully present this holiday season? (HA! there I said it.. )In fact, it is a gift you give yourself AND others in your life and in your world.
It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
Peace and Love.Merry Christmas XOXO