As I write this, I’m sitting on a porch in Florida, looking out at the ocean. The sandy beach is only a step away from my chair. Earlier, staring at the rhythmic waves almost lulled me to sleep as I struggled to read my book. I feel so happy to be sharing this house with my family, yet somehow, I can’t relax. I can’t truly let go of the feeling that I should be doing or accomplishing some task. I can’t let go of the thought that I must plan and organize what comes next.
Now, normally, my way of thinking enables me to be incredibly productive and successful in life. I’m naturally always thinking ahead and mapping out how I’m going to get the most done in the smallest amount of time available to me. However, this mode of thinking is now my enemy. I am having difficulty turning it off and allowing myself to just enjoy the moment. I’m struggling with just being present and not thinking ahead to what will unfold for the rest of the day.
I constantly know what time it is and I’m often contemplating what that means to me. Everyone has called me on it. I’ve tried to cover it up but apparently, I’m not doing a very good job.
I’ve decided that all the suggestions, inspirational quotes, and advice in the world is not going to help me to become “in the moment”. That is something that must come from a different place.
I must make the DECISION to become present in life.
There’s a lot of reading out there on how to become present in your life. I am told that the ability to be “in the now” is a goal that each one of us should attempt to achieve. When I see young children, I recognize how they’re naturals at this way of life. However, you and I have learned over time that it is impossible to achieve your goals with this mind-set.
You have learned to fight the intent to become present. You are mapping out what comes next because you must do this in order to keep everything in your life running smoothly. You are constantly anticipating what comes next and what obstacles might stand in your way of achieving your daily goals.
This is ingrained in your brain and it is difficult to retrain this way of thinking. Your brain has learned this overtime and runs this automatic loop without you being mentally aware. You are no longer consciously making a decision. If only being told the statement “Just relax” really worked!
In order to truly change, you must recognize when it is happening. You must listen carefully to the thoughts as they unfold and be able to speak back to them and fight the strong urge to control. You need to constantly remind yourself that it’s OK to just “be”.
The whole concept is difficult— but not impossible.