I’m very good at getting ahead of myself. I’ve found that it is easier to notice that you have not been present than noticing that you are not present. Perhaps this is the learning curve. Whatever the reason, my life flows when I am being present. When I am appreciating what I have, what is happening to me and around me my life seems to fall into place better than I could have wished for. It’s when I try to seize control that it slips away from me. Daily journaling has helped me recognize these patterns and catch myself before I fall entirely out of the flow. The following are reminders I have to give myself when I feel the myself slipping out of the flow.
Appreciation over Expectation
“Expectation feeds frustration. It is an unhealthy attachment to people, things, and outcomes we wish we could control; but don’t.” (Dr. Steve Maraboli)
Expectations are based in the future, constantly. From expecting your package to show up on Friday or for your roommate to do the dishes, you are placing your thoughts in a future that might not exist, and escaping the present. We can so easily work ourselves up this way concocting our perfect future, and then when it doesn’t come true we get upset and angry. This is irrational. I have to remind myself all the time. I am not in control, as much as I wish I was sometimes. By switching my thought processes to appreciation over expectation, I change, “I wish they did the dishes today” to “I’m so glad that they wiped the counters down. That’s so nice of them”. This makes all the difference.
I have been working on this one for months and I can honestly say that I am angry and frustrated less often, and I’ve noticed an amazing change in the quality of my relationships. By saying “thank you” instead of “Can you do this?”, I am constantly nourishing these relationships and respecting the people in them instead of berating them. This practice nourishes a support system which is so important in building the future that you want but also in dealing with the shit of present day.
Tackle The Now
I have always lacked patience, and this past year has truly tested my bounds and forced me to further develop this skill. One of the fastest and easiest ways for me to break out of the flow is to try to force my big dreams and aspirations into the now. This does me no good. If I am constantly focused on the future and everything I want from it, then I am constantly disappointed with my present and itching for the next best thing. By engaging in this mindset everyday, I am letting the present pass by me and therefore my future.
To build the future I want, I need to put the work in now. Nothing worth having is handed to you. What I want will require effort. Dreaming is necessary but it cannot become all consuming.
By practicing patience I can avoid the disappointment of my efforts taking longer than I thought to be recognized. I can absorb more information from my studies because I am not trying to rush through them. Then, when I reach my destination and my dreams do manifest into reality, I will be ready for them and I will succeed.
Fear and anxiety plaque us as humans. Recently, I have felt like I have been approaching situations in my life with my hands outstretched, bracing for impact. This is no way to live. One of my friends responded to my mentioning of this with some good advice.
That is okay for now, but eventually you’ll want to work your way into pulling those hands back to your chest. In prayer pose, you can let things come to you.
At the time, I disregarded this as obvious fact, but as it has sat with me, I understand what I need to do. Even if I do walk around braced for impact, I need to see impact coming and consciously pull those hands back to my chest. Then, I can deal with what comes as it does rather than overreact to possibilities with fear and anxiety. I believe that practicing this consciously will eventually create habit.
Embracing resistance and allowing what will come to you, come is so freeing.
For this life, you are what you have. Your body is your vessel, they say, and it is also your temple. But what does that mean? It means that you need to make yourself a priority. Make what you love and enjoy a priority, and honor yourself in doing the things that make your soul full.
If something or someone is not serving you anymore or contributing positively to your well-being, then it is time to gracefully let them go, or distance yourself from that energy. Not everyone will like it. There is nothing that you can do in your life that absolutely everyone will enjoy, so do what is right for you and the people who are supportive of you and your journey will do just that. Your tribe will come by being true to yourself, and as you practice honoring yourself, the others not appreciating your path will matter less to you.
I am beginning to notice that it is absolutely normal to live a life that others don’t understand.
Through this practice you can establish a sense of presence in your life. Day by day you will be creating your future. You can have an idea of where your going, in fact, that’s the most important part, but as I have been told by the universe over and over, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. It was built a day at a time. By contributing to your dreams and desires a little bit everyday, they will accumulate and then one day, you’ll look around to find yourself standing in everything you’ve ever wished for. Realistically, you’ve probably already done this without noticing it. Look around you. The place where you stand now is likely something that you hoping for at sometime in the past. Maybe it’s not everything you wished it would be, but that’s what makes it real. The struggle that you might be encountering now is simply your soul yearning for that next destination and manifestation of your dreams. So start. One day at a time.