I've been thinking about this concept a lot and working really hard at Living in the Moment. I am trying to come to terms with the realization that living with small kids will both suck the life out of you and breath life into you (sometimes within minutes of each other). I am not going to live a life waiting for bliss, I am learning to find happiness in every day and making it a priority. Love and joy are both a choice, and I choose them over everything else.
It is really damned hard to live in the moment when so many of them are filled with "Mommy! Get me this, do this for me, (whine, whine, WHINE), my toe hurts, I need something, this milk is in the wrong cup..." I let those moments get to me and make me long for QUIET moments...but when the quiet moments do come (they are rare, but DO happen), I let my mind fill with what will be next, with preparing for the next fire, with anticipating. I am trying to teach myself to stop, to take each moment for what it is, accept it, and get as much as I can from each one of them (without using "good" and "bad" as descriptors). This is not easy, and my old brain is working hard at learning this new trick!!
I'm not completely successful at this yet, but I'm learning. Practicing mindfulness will bring more happiness (it's been scientifically proven TED talk on happiness). It's a great talk, if you don't have the 10 minutes to take a listen, the take home message is that there really is no "secret" to happiness, but that even if you are doing something that you don't particularly "enjoy", you can derive more happiness from that moment by focusing on what you are doing.
There are some things that I try to keep in mind that help me stay in the exact moment that I am experiencing, and here are some of them:
- Mommy hugs and kisses are really high currency; I am equipped with exactly what my kids need to give them comfort and love, even if I can't "solve" their problems.
- Accept that life is not about living in pure bliss, it is about appreciating the bliss that you do feel and learning how to find more of it.
- Letting go of expectation sets your mind free and allows you experience life as it comes. *This one is particularly challenging for me, but also gives me the greatest results.
- Let go of the "what if's"....You are well equipped to deal with whatever comes your way in life without running through every possible scenario before hand. Preparing for scenarios that might never come to pass is not helpful and is wasted energy.
- If you feel something BIG, then let it be big and figure out how to learn from it...don't diminish your reaction to a situation, don't let any one else diminish your reaction, but do reflect on it and learn why the situation feels so big to you.
- Love yourself, you are worthy of love and happiness, don't be your worst critic, and ask for help when you need it.
Maybe those things are not very earth shattering or novel, but they do help me. When all else fails, take a breath and lift something heavy, or rock a new yoga pose, or sing really loud or recite a poem from heart....just do whatever it is that makes you feel totally bad-ass.