GOOD MORNING MONDAY –
AFFIRMATIVE THOUGHTS FOR A GREAT WEEK
Tuesday is the first day of Spring. Spring signifies a time of transformation and renewal. The temperature rises, buds begin to emerge on the trees, the grass starts to turn green and flowers start to bloom. When Spring rolls into our lives, it is as though we want to rid ourselves of the “slack” that the winter instilled in us of becoming “sloth-like” and we want to emerge with new energy and vitality. The spring season seems to nudge us forward to lean in, participate more, become more actively involved in life. We come out of a sort of “hibernation” state.
Spring can be a time of renewal for us personally; letting go of the old and making room for the new. Spring can be a time of personal transformation; a time for us to renew the way we think and the way we engage with life. It can be a time of unforeseen possibilities and a time to be fully awake to our lives moment by moment, celebrating the Here and Now.
Spring is the perfect time to “dust off” our perspectives and engage in life with a Beginners Mind and Fresh Eyes. One of Marcel Proust’s quotes that resonates with me surrounding this topic is, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having fresh eyes."
So, how do we become more awake to what each moment has to offer? How do we see life with fresh eyes? How do we discover newness in the here and now? Beginning a practice of mindfulness in our lives can help. What is mindfulness? It is, “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose in the present moment and non-judgmentally." In simple terms, it is about being present for the moments that are unfolding right in front of us; the ordinary ones. After all, this moment is the only one you get.
Each of us is looking for peace in our crazy, busy days. We are looking to put down our “juggling balls” for a little bit. We yearn to practice mono-tasking vs. multi-tasking. Many are finding that being mindful, being fully present in each moment, helps us and it has its own rewards. Being fully present helps us to begin to insert a pause and train our brain to observe vs. immediately react. Each time we put into practice mindfulness, we practice “not reacting." This practice can calm us, even during chaotic times. We become more relaxed and alert; and a relaxed, alert state is optimum for performance.
My challenge to you this week, if you dare to accept it, is to practice being present. Try to pay attention and give focus to each thing you are doing; whether it is a task you are trying to complete or a conversation that you are having with a family member or colleague. Be fully there for it. You may be tempted to start another task – that is o.k. You may be tempted to tune out – that is o.k. Your brain may wander from the present conversation or task – that is o.k. The goal is to be aware when this happens to you. Awareness is the beginning; so, do not judge yourself. Just bring yourself back to the present task, the current conversation, the present moment each time your mind wanders.
Every time you practice mindfulness in this way, you begin to build your habit. It is like doing a rep with a free weight. You are strengthening your muscles. Every time you bring your mind back, the stronger and more focused it will get. Pay attention as much and as often as you can because it is worth it, and you are worth it. As philosopher Simone Weil says, “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity; and it is the gift worth giving ourselves."
Just because we are busy does not mean we have to miss out on our lives. Your life is happening anyway, you might as well be present for it! Practice being present today. Remember, this is a habit you are building; so, be easy on yourself, and even when you make a mistake - just try again.
Wishing you joy, happiness, fun and enlightenment as you embark on your journey to discover your life in the present moment.
Have a GREAT Week!