Quit resolutions & enjoy being nowDecember 29th, 2013
Are you about to set a resolution for 2014? I propose a quick test: See if you can start with the change right now! Can you? Congrats! If not I am afraid no calendar date will help Instead of coming up with resolutions I opt for mindful living. I choose to feel more alive by being present and being myself.
Presence. Vitality. Love.
This moment is all I have and ever will have so I choose to be flexible and friendly with it. No matter the date I am taking the first step right now to get into a habit of following joy. What makes me feel most alive and connected with everything around? I told you about one such experience already. Surfing! What happened to me in the ocean? I was 100% present, focused and at the same time flexible; going with the nature’s flow. Such a state got me not only on the board and riding the waves but more importantly it made me feel incredibly alive, fulfiled and joyful. For a while I was totally free of all the life roles I got associated with – a mother, a wife, a sister, a boss, a woman…the list goes on and on.
I simply am and that is enough. In that Nowness– nothing is missing. Everything is perfect. Since I learned surfing I wonder why we overcomplicate life so much? I suspect the main reason is we struggle to be fully present.
Last year at W.I.N. conference I was moved by the life story of Maggy Barankitse, the founder of Maison Shalom. Though she survived true horrors during the ethnic conflict between Tutsi and Hutus Maggy’s speech was incredibly uplifting and towards the end she was asked to share the one thing which helped her to stay strong and save so many children. What she said immediately resonated with the thousand of us in the audience:
Celebrate life every day, don’t carry the world.
Since then I kept reminding myself of her wisdom and today once again I set an intention to be present and follow joy. I know joy often comes to me through profound connection with people, creating or learning something, being in nature…
What brings joy to you? Can you notice a moment of your full presence and the joy it brings? No matter what people tell you, enjoy your joy You always deserve it. Be present, notice it, sense it, live it and pay full attention to it. The joy we feel is like our radar. Listening to its subtle signals is what Joseph Campbell called “following your bliss”. The way I understand it is that our joy shows us who we truly are. Obviously, the sources of my joy are different than yours. Like a unique piece of a universal puzzle – by being myself – I fit into the space originally designed for me to complete the whole picture. Going against it by trying to fit into a different place makes no sense. There is someone perfectly matching that space already. Is there any better way to provide value to others that by being 100% me i.e. following my bliss?
Imagine if we all start to be who we truly are, fully present in each moment, filling our own space of this huge puzzle with joy and dedication!
How would that feel? Would your life change? What would you be doing?
The problem is we are educated to set our joy aside and thus we keep projecting it into the future. It’s as if the society says: OK, look forward to some joy and gosh, have a few dreams (if that helps) but first – make sure to work through the to-do list in front of you. The thing is after a while we are eaten by busyness and start taking our mission to accomplish the list very seriously. Often so much that we forget our dreams and gradually we aren’t sure anymore what was it that used to bring us joy in the first place! In order to meet the expectations of our family, our boss, or our partner we don’t fully enjoy what’s happening in our life and keep surpressing our “joy radar” until one day we wake up completely “joy numb” If you are like me you quickly come up with highly sophisticated ways to get some joy back into your life only to realize that e-bay doesn’t offer inner joy ;)
I believed that once I finish the to-do list great joy would follow. It didn’t quite work and I assumed it’s because there were always things left on that bloody list. In fact, I was totally missing the point, because doing or having couldn’t substitute the lack of being. As I was busy rushing to check off another task from that mental list I hardly noticed… Therefore the 100 days of Nowness were literally eye-opening for me.
You may ask: How do I know when I am not fully present?
- Everytime I am thinking about the past.
- Everytime I want the future more than I want the present.
- Everytime I do something only to achieve something else i.e. I rush (in my thoughts or actions) towards that which I wish to accomplish.
Whenever I simply exist or do something which is in itself fulfiling I am grounded in the moment and feel simple joy of being. This is something we all knew as kids, but most of us gradually forgot. It doesn’t come from outside, but from within. In a sense it is always inside of us waiting for us to allow space for it, to notice and welcome it as a long lost friend. When I am truly present and accept life as is my day becomes a chain of joyful moments. And the more space and presence I allow the more joy I am experiencing.
If we give ourselves the permission to be fully here and now we often enter a state of flow. We are present, completely focused on whatever it is we are doing. We may easily loose track of time. If you ever worked in such a flow you know that one gets very energized through that. Work is no more work but rather inspiration and activation. In flow we are engaged and operate at our best; the awaken joy within is the best motivator. That’s why many artists create their artworks in similar flows and sometimes spend days like that. They are connected to the Now and ride the creative energy current until its end… As the ancient Greek used to say:
Panta rhei. Everything flows.
The only little constraint is this: Noone can catch the waves for us...
When we are present our past ceases to exist. All there is happens now. All we really have is this moment to be lived as best as we are able to. We both know most resolutions don’t make it far. That’s why I challenge you to quit any resolutions and enjoy living now!
Lets make 2014 a year of Nowness.
The year to seriously explore who we are and what brings us joy.
I invite you to join me on this journey to make 2014 the year we enjoy through full presence.
Here is to rocking life energy in 2014!