Friday, July 22, 2016

MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR SUMMER

I was in my local farm market last week.  It was a beautiful day in July, a respite from the 93 degrees and high humidity of the previous few days.  The colors were vibrant, the sky bright blue, clouds light and wispy, and there was a slight breeze. However, most of the plants were gone, many of the tables were empty and the employees were rearranging them. 

My heart sank a little bit; I knew what this meant. They were getting ready to receive 'the mums'. I know it's somewhat past the time when people put in the their gardens, but it's MID-SUMMER and still July!  This is the time when people generally slow down, take it easy, go on vacation to the beach, spend time with family and friends and create and enjoy the little moments.  It's way too soon for MUMS! 

MUMS = Autumn & Back-to-school! 

I certainly didn't dwell on it, but it did dampen the moment, or more accurately, took me OUT of the moment. When I realized later on that it was still sort of lurking, (albeit quietly) in the back of my mind, I knew I had to make a choice to stay present to the here and now.  I do actually love autumn, and have nothing against mums, but I want to relish the summer while it's here.  When autumn comes, I will enjoy that as well, despite the knowledge of what season follows autumn. :-& 

I don’t know about you, but I’m very grateful for any reminder to just breathe, be present and to simply notice and appreciate the little things in life. When you think about it, what else is there? And, being present to what is as much as we can is not mutually exclusive with having hope and vision for the future or planning as necessary. The problem is that when we spend much more time in the past and the future than in the present, we aren't truly experiencing our lives.  On the flip side, having a dependence on staying in the moment to avoid dealing with the icky stuff in our lives also creates problems.  Like everything else, it's about finding the right balance. 

If you need a bit of evidence about the benefits and power of staying present, try this little exercise: 

Recall a few specific times in your life when you felt pure joy.  Just think of moments in time. They can be recently,  long ago or anywhere in-between. I predict that you'll find they were often, if not always, when you were completely present and aware right in that moment.  




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