Monday, November 15, 2010

Delicious Ambiguity

Some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end.  Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.  Delicious ambiguity...
-Gilda Radner

I'm a planner.  I like to keep myself challenged.  I always ask "what's next?" and look forward to what is coming up.

The challenge then becomes truly living in the present.  Lately, I have been working to notice and appreciate the beauty around me.  I think of my five senses: What am I feeling right now?  What do I see?  What do I hear?  What do I taste?  What do I smell?

It is tough to remain present when I have deadlines, to-do lists, plans for next weekend, next month, next year.  Being present in every moment means I experience and treasure it, rather than breeze by it.  I can settle into all five senses and escape to a place of calm and contentment.  I move away from the daily stresses or long-term questions of life, simply breathing in my current experience.  I don't have to worry about what might happen in the future, don't have to look back with sadness or disappointment.  The present is the only thing in my consciousness.

Vacation day... Feel: comfy in sweats;
See: words and pictures in some of my favorite magazines;
Hear: country music playing from my laptop;
Taste: iced coffee and a donut;
Smell: nothing in particular
I think that is why I love things like yoga and massages and reading so much.  (I had a fantastic, much-needed massage last week and that one hour of relaxation felt about 2 hours too short.  My shoulders were up to my ears with stress beforehand, so I just breathed and blocked out everything else.)  I can relish the feelings of the moment and push away any stress or worry.

Sometimes I don't want to live in the present when it's crazy busy or insanely stressful.  In that case, I try to remind myself that the moment will pass, I will learn from it, and I will appreciate the calmer times more because of it.  I find something to be grateful for that day, even a small thing like the changing fall leaves or a hug from my husband.

A cozy spot to curl up with a book
There is a wonderful prayer from St. Theresa that speaks to living in the present and trusting you are where you are meant to be.  Recently, I have been repeating the first line to myself as a reminder to live this way, even when I feel my blood pressure climbing.  I would like to share it as a source of inspiration.  Remember each day is a gift.

May today there be peace within.  May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.  May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.  May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.  May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.  It is there for each and every one of us.
-St. Theresa of the Little Flower


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