Live in the Moment

I am an expert at living in the future, and an expert, as well, at living in the past.

I have generalized anxiety, something I have had ever since I can remember, and all the worrying that I do places my focus on the future, and a lot of the worrying stems from things that have happened in the past.  I tend to go back over events, replaying them in my mind, figuring out what I could have done differently.

But I can’t change the past.

Alternatively, I also tend to play out scenes in my head that have  yet to occur.  And most likely never will.  And although I’d love to think that I can, I also cannot predict the future.

So instead, now, I choose to focus on the present moment.  On what can I do right now or today that will bring me closer to my goals.  This doesn’t mean that I never think about the past or the future, but I do so now with the awareness that I cannot change the past and I cannot control the future.  All I can control is right now, and how I act, and how I react to that around me.

The Voices in My Head

I had been renting space in my head to some not-so-nice women for what seemed like most my life.

They were judgmental, often critical, and always there whenever I began thinking about my dreams.  It wasn’t until I saw each of them distinctly for who they were, that I was able to evict them and send them on their way.

Maybe you’ll recognize one or two (or all?) of them.

The Naysayer.  But oddly enough, she never actually told me that I couldn’t do something.  She would just plant a small seed of doubt, “Well, how are you going to do THAT?”  Which was enough to send me chasing me tail, trying to figure out the HOW of whatever it was that I dreamt of doing.

The Naysayer was quickly joined by the Fear Monger.  Preying on my general anxiety disorder, the Fear Monger would expand on my fear of not knowing how I was going to accomplish something by throwing at me all kinds of what if’s? What if you fail? (That was her favorite) What if what you are going to do causes someone else some harm?  Knowing my anxious mind, it wasn’t hard to send me in another tail spin of all the horrible outcomes that could happen if I followed my dreams.

As if these two weren’t enough, two more would also appear on the scene: the Should Shame-r and her identical twin, the Guilt Tripper.  The Should Shame-r would sigh heavily, point out what it was that I SHOULD be doing, and then add a nice little tsk, tsk, tsk to drive the point home.  And of course the Guilt Tripper would let me know how sad my family would be if they had to do all those things that I *SHOULD* be doing (cleaning, cooking, laundry, driving kids to activities).

Getting rid of these ladies was simple but not easy.  First I had to be aware of them, to distinguish them from myself.  Then, each time one of them spoke up I simply told them that I thanked them for their opinion but that I was taking it from there.  Now they no longer rent space in my head anymore.

I recently read of  this visual activity to do if they show up – to picture them, the Naysayer, Fear Monger, Should Shame-r and Guilt Tripper, being arrested for their crimes of negativity and dream destruction.

I think I like that even better.

The Beginning

I have been on an incredible journey, a journey of self discovery.  As I look back to that first moment, the moment that I decided  that I wanted CHANGE, I can see how extraordinary this journey has been, and yet how simple.

When I reflect on the most important life changing moments since deciding that I wnted change, I realize that it’s the simple every day things that I did and continue to do that got me here.  Nothing fancy, just awareness and a commitment to keep moving forward.

My dream is to share my journey with you, so that you can see how simple the transformation really was.  I won’t say that it was easy, because letting go of long held stories is never easy, and makes you question all that you thought you knew.  But this journey from stressed out to blissed out is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I hope that I will inspire you in some way, no matter where you are in YOUR journey.

And so, I will start from the beginning.  In November of 2011 I felt like a failure.  I was failing in my business, failing as a parent to my then 12 year old son, and failing in my relationship with my boyfriend.  My mom had passed away 2 years prior, and I was still grieving her loss.I was miserable and struggled to get through each day.  I spent a good deal of time feeling sorry for myself and counting out all the different ways things were not going well for me.

It all changed the day I decided that anger, resentment and regret were not serving me anymore and that I had to let them go.  And so I created a new ritual. Every morning, as I walked around the pond near my house, I picked up 3 rocks, each a little smaller than the size of my fist.  I would take each stone, and name it – anger, resentment, regret, throw each into the pond.  As i envisioned each one sinking to the bottom of the pond, I felt a space open up inside of me, and chose to fill it with something new.  Peace, joy, love, patience, whatever I felt that I needed more of at that moment.

Just like that, my journey to my true self began.  No fireworks, no grand gestures.  Just an awareness of what no longer served me and what I wanted more of in my life.