Taking the Time to Live in the Now; to Be
Sitting at the gym on a break between sets, knowing I had a rough week ahead of me I realized what I truly needed was to stop and just be in the moment. And in that moment, I recognized I was strong; I was healthy; I was loved. And you know what? Sometimes that’s all we really need to focus on. Sure, there were other machines and sets ahead. And cleaning, and writing… but none of that was in the current moment. I couldn’t do anything about those things in the current moment—in the “Now”.
I bought Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” several years ago. The first time I started to read it, I couldn’t get into it, and eventually put it back on my shelf to read another time. The second time I picked it up, it had, quite literally cracked me on the head by falling off the shelf. By then, I was ready to read it, and got something out of it. Still, there was more to glean from between its covers, and I read it a second time. Something tells me I’m ready now for round 3.
I know on a conscious level I can only change the moment I’m in. I cannot change the past. It’s done and gone. I cannot change the future. It’s not here yet. No matter how much I may be struggling in my day-to-day life; no matter how many times I’ve fallen down; no matter what challenges I know I have to face tomorrow, the only moment I’m guaranteed is the one I’m in.
Causing My Own Mental Clutter
All too often, I lose sight of the moment I’m in while making lists or plans, fretting over getting the house thoroughly cleaned before my daughter arrives, or Thanksgiving gets here. I’ll focus on the next machine at the gym when I still have a set or two to finish on the machine I’m on, worrying someone will get there before me and I’ll have to change up my routine. That’s when I drag myself back to the moment and remind myself none of it matters.
Somehow, I’ll get the house clean, even if the kids have to help me. If the next machine isn’t available, there’s a gym full of weights and machines I can use instead. If I client I’ve been talking to is sitting on the fence, or decides to take another path, there’s really nothing I can do to change it, nor do I want to try to talk someone into anything. If we’re not a good fit, we’re both better off finding someone who fits us to a “T” than settling for less-than-perfect.
Over time, I’ve tried a lot of things, taken a lot of courses, and listened to a lot of people. It took me a lot of trial and error before I learned to trust my gut. If what they were saying made sense and felt good, I’d hang around. If not, I’d take what I could from the experience and move on. These days, I’m able to make that assessment more quickly and get out of the ones that don’t feel right before I’ve invested too much of my most valuable commodity; time.
Feeling Pressured by My Own Expectations
Even as I sit here, a week behind on my blog writing (which, by the way, still puts me at 2 weeks ahead and a little more), I have to remind myself to be kinder and gentler to me. If I’m not getting things done according to my own expectations, there’s an underlying reason. Still, in the current moment, it doesn’t matter that I need to get at least 2 more posts written by Wednesday in addition to this one, or that I have a full week ahead of me, so I’d like to write a total of 5 in the next 2 days. I can only get this one written, and even then, it may take more than the next few bits of Now in order to accomplish it.
I’ve gotten pretty good about not beating myself up over failing to meet deadlines I set for rewrites of “Rebuilding After Suicide” or posting chapters of “Sasha’s Journey” on ChapterBuzz. I was pretty proud of myself when I achieved a long-desired goal of having 3 weeks worth of blog posts written, formatted and scheduled, so it irks me to slip. Never mind the crash of both my PC and laptop last month, and my 2 days without internet last week. I still try to take it all on as my sole responsibility, and worse, my failure to measure up.
I look up at the shelf full of self-help and motivational books right above my monitors and they remind me that self-flagellation is neither effective nor warranted. I do the best I can, even if my best is sitting in front of the TV watching Hallmark movies. My subconscious knows it’s what I need even if my inner critic thinks it’s a waste of time and energy.
I Get to Choose Whether or Not to Listen to My Inner Critic
Today, I’m focusing on reminding that critic to STFU. I know what I need. I know what’s best for me in this moment. Nothing and no one can guide me better than my kindest self who keeps whispering: “The only time you have is now. Use it wisely.”
Whether I get 3 posts written tonight or only this one, I feel confident I’m doing my very best with each moment. The posts will get written. The house will get cleaned. My books will get finished and published when the time is right. Forcing a fish to swim upstream isn’t going to make him go where he’s not meant to go. Forcing myself out of my flow won’t get anything done faster, and certainly not better. Sometimes, I have to live through a few more things before a task can be completed. Pieces are still missing, and forcing myself to complete it before it’s time means it won’t really be finished at all.
It took me 10 years to finish the draft for “Rebuilding After Suicide”, during which I changed the title at least 4 times. If I’d finished it sooner, I’d have left out important discoveries I made about myself, and my healing journey. It may take me a few more to revise it as I’m still making new discoveries. I continue to heal the wounds I re-open with those discoveries. Some will become an integral part of the book, and some will not. Meanwhile, I’ve given myself permission (with a little push from my daughter) to give my attention and effort to “Sasha’s Journey”, my very first NaNoWriMo that’s been sitting in the bowels of my cloud storage for a couple of years now.
Sometimes you have to put one dream on hold to realize another. Knowing when it’s time to do that takes listening to the inner voice who wants the very best for you. I’m choosing to turn up the volume on that voice right now.
Putting Gratitude First
My gratitudes today are:
- I’m grateful for side trips.
- I’m grateful for changes in direction.
- I’m grateful for reminders to stay in the moment.
- I’m grateful for people and books who have given me incredible guidance and clarity in the last few years.
- I’m grateful for abundance; courage, love, friendship, hope, lessons, challenges, highs and lows, joy and sadness, family by choice rather than blood, peace, health, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward