Be Aware in the Present Moment
Today is Martin Luther King Day – one of the holidays when I don’t have to report to work. This past three day weekend has provided the opportunity to enjoy being in a comfortable home with my husband – able to relax and work on things that bring me joy, as I choose. This is what I want every day to be like.
Sometimes, it’s a challenge for me to imagine what that would actually be like. I am currently contemplating going to bed – not, necessarily because I’m tired – but, because that alarm clock will be ringing at 5 am whether I want to answer it or not. Then, I’ll get up and try to keep doing the things I’m trying to develop into habits, log on to the computer and do my job until 5 PM, eat dinner, work on my on=line business and go to bed, just to get up the next day and do it all over again.
It’s hard to imagine a different kind of life.
Oh wait … my mind has wandered to the future. Whenever that happens, I am not being aware in the present. Have you ever gotten in your car and magically ended up at your destination without remembering the drive? That’s what every day seems to be like – not really paying attention to what’s going on at the present moment. Routine thoughts continually play in your mind that you may not even be aware of…they have become so natural – so ingrained in your every day life – that you accept them (whether they’re true or not).
I realize that those thoughts come from the beliefs we hold. Sometimes, the beliefs we hold are so common to us that we don’t realize they are no longer improving the quality of our life. If and when we can pay attention – be aware in the present moment – examine those thoughts without judgement – just be honest and identify them. This practice alone has made a positive change in my life. Even though I frequently forget to pay attention, I am beginning to remember more often. As I attempt to identify those outdated beliefs and replace them with some new, more helpful stories. I have found a sense of peace amidst the chaos. It’s probably not apparent to others, but I feel my mental state shifting somehow. It’s clear to me that we need to at least be aware of our believes and identify those that are no longer serving you to be your best self.
Imagine Your Perfect Life
We have all spent most of the new decade trying to adjust to the ‘new normal’ – working to find balance between our family and business lives. Sometimes change is rather scary – especially when we haven’t chosen to make the change. How do you react to circumstances outside of your control? How do you feel when you react the way you do? Why do you think you feel that way? When was the first time you remember dealing with something outside of your control? Pay attention to these thoughts without judgement.
Sometimes it’s helpful to imagine what your perfect life looks like, if you can. I find it challenging to picture, but if I pay attention to my feelings when I try to imagine it, the gap between where I am today. Then, if I pay real close attention, I can sometimes identify an old, un-useful story that I need to replace.
Writing all of these thoughts and feelings down can help too. From day to day (sometimes from hour to hour), I forget the context of the thoughts and feelings I have had before. Take time every week to review what you’ve written and identify more areas to explore.
Uncover Your Passion
For many reasons, my husband and I want to move to the West. The drier climate will be better for my husbands’ health. I’m burned out at my Corporate Job. My husband retired early and I want the freedom to spend our days together – doing what we enjoy – even though, in my mind, our perfect life includes an online business.
In September, 2018, I decided that we would be able to make the move by June, 2020, when a really good salesman convinced me that his coaching program would help me reach my goals online. I followed all of his instructions and built a web site for a drop-ship business. I spent two months enhancing it’s SEO and then, I started my marketing effort. That’s when I began to flounder. I really didn’t have a plan for how to market the site – and my coach wasn’t very helpful (in my opinion). Then I discovered all of the recorded training in this coaching program was freely available on YouTube. I realized very late in the game that I had built my web site around something that interested me, but not something I was passionate about. I tried for a few weeks, but getting people to see my site without spending lots of advertising money became tedious and I lost interest very quickly. I never really felt that my coach had my best interests in mind – I don’t hold any grudges, it just didn’t work out – but, I didn’t give up on my goal.
The virus situation around the world led my husband and I to decide that moving by June, 2020 wasn’t feasible. So, I decided I was going to create a successful on-line business! Then, whenever circumstances made the move more realistic, we would be ready.
I’m giving thanks for the financial situation which is already mine even though I don’t see it yet. We will find a home in our price range, in the perfect western location, with access to the internet. My current company will allow me to continue to work remotely from our new home for a while and I will build an on-line, laptop lifestyle, business to make our retirement more comfortable.
I can imagine that the alarm clock won’t be ringing to force me into a fixed schedule for the benefit of my employer any longer. I get to awake when I’m good and ready and determine my own schedule. It’s not uncommon for me to get so involved in my project that I lose track of time. I make the time every day to exercise – perhaps by working in the garden or walking around our property or doing various chores as they need to get done. I make time to read every day – at least an hour. I work on my on-line marketing business every day. I have a plan, so no time is wasted. Then, I have the luxury of figuring out how to spend the rest of my time and enough money to live comfortably.
Have you already discovered your purpose? If so, you are likely taking actions to move toward it. If not, I would propose that is why you feel stuck. When I felt stuck, I found my passion through a combination of meditation and writing down things I like, enjoy, do every day, things I could talk about for hours.
In today’s world, there just doesn’t seem to ever be enough time to slow down and introspect – even if only for a few minutes – just to be aware of the beliefs that are directing your life ‘behind the scene’. Knowing which of your beliefs are helping you and those which are not helping you is the beginning of really knowing yourself. None of us is perfect and most of us are afraid of facing something. It’s difficult to be honest with yourself sometimes, but once you do it, you’ll be one step closer to becoming the best you possible.
I have a suggestion….as you go about your day, try to concentrate on the present wester