Being fully present isn’t an easy concept for me to grasp because I can be a bit of a literalist. My husband would be rich if he got a nickel for every time I said, “yes, but what does that MEAN.” He’s used to me saying, “Okay, I hear you, but how does that play out literally and practically?”
It is only recently that I have re-discovered what being fully present in my own life can mean in a very practical and non-philosophical way. It took a new season in life, a new job, and a shift in perspective to even begin to know how to “show up” again in my life.
For me, being fully present isn’t something I can manufacture. If I am stressed to the max, barely getting through my to-do list every week, then it is going to be hard for me to be present. Always pulled in one direction or another and trying to keep all the plates spinning.
Some of us need to have less plates and some of us need a new perspective, new priorities. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I often find myself whipped up into a frenzy (how I got there, I can never pinpoint) about this due now, and this happening when, and oh yea I need to remember that! From the back of my mind to the front of my mind, all those little things in life spin back and forth. That present for that shower, do this in that order because of this happening later, and DO NOT forget to put floss on the shopping list for the third time!
Whenever that breaking moment comes and I stop for a second, I can see all the plates spinning above my head. And as I watch them go, I realize I don’t have to keep doing this. I don’t have to be so anxious, so stressed, so s t r u n g o u t. But I don’t notice how bad it’s gotten until I stop to take a breath. It’s a revelation for me every single time it happens.
As I enter into this new season and start to re-learn how to be fully present in my life, my bad habits threaten to cross over, too. I wake up with a work assignment on my mind – only to realize I can slip back into sleep and wait for my alarm to begin my day. I don’t have to fret, I can rest. I take a look at my calendar for the day and start in on “oh man, okay so I gotta do this and remember that” – only to recall I have an awesome life and all the things I have planned will be enjoyable!
Take stock of all that you do on a daily basis that you love. For me, I love waking up to a slightly cool bedroom now that fall is hurrying on its way. I love stopping in the morning to pet the cat purring in the sun streaming through the window. I love seeing my friends and spending time with them. I love writing for this blog. I love clapping my praises in worship on the weekends at church. I love fresh sheets on the bed. I love the sound of the washing machine working. I love having time to cook. Sure, the cooking and the laundry and the appointments could turn into obligations. But they don’t have to if I am a little more truthful with myself about the reality of my daily life.
The power of our perspective can be used for good or bad. Either we can start the day focused on all the negative that may come or we can choose to focus on the positive, the things we love and look forward to. A very simple lesson, but powerful nonetheless.
No, I cannot manufacture peace in my life. But I can pursue it. As a woman, sometimes I feel at the whim of my emotional state. Yet sometimes I feel the Lord nudging me and saying, “This moment here, you have a choice. What will it be?” And as I realize He is reminding me of my choice, I am so much more easily ready to choose joy.
Sometimes We Are Closer to The Mountain Top Than We Think
Sometimes we feel we are walking through a valley, but it is usually never as wide or as dark as we feel it is. Sometimes we’re really just next to a ridge, next to the sun about to shine over the edge, always walking towards what He has for us next.