I have to admit that I’ve never been a big fan of magicians and their magic tricks (sorry to any magician’s who might be reading this). It’s just not my thing. I wonder why? Can I not allow myself to forget the practical and realistic and believe that what I’m seeing is truly magic and not just a skilled trick of the hand?!
What does it mean to start before you’re ready?When I thought hard about the times in my life I have done this, my mind took me waaaaaay back to when I was learning to ride a bike. I started out on grass with my older brother running along side of me holding the handlebars, as I weaved down the lawn. I was gaining confidence and was determined to be able to ride my bike by the time my dad came home from work, to surprise him. I waited at the top of the road knowing he’d be arriving any minute and as he turned in, I set off cycling towards him, wobbling away. I reached the now parked car just as he was getting out and was so excited to show him my new skill that I lost my focus and fell into the car and put a nice big scratch down the side! People are more important than cars! Thankfully my dad, (who had the patience of a saint), didn’t yell at me but, as I had hoped, was thrilled to see me (almost) master my new bike. Was I really ready to ride that bike? Not really, but when are we ever really ready for anything? If we don’t try or start, we run the risk of doing nothing. Playing it safe doesn’t make memories like these :)
To boldy go…The next memory that popped into my head was starting primary school (grade school in the US). I could hardly wait to go. I had my new school bag packed for weeks before the BIG day and everyone who visited our house had to be shown my bag and all its contents. I clearly remember wanting to put an apple in there and my mum telling me it would go bad before it was time to go to school. Of course, I had my outfit planned too :)
The big day!However, this was not the beginning of a new school year and I wasn’t starting school with lots of other new children. Because my birthday fell in April, I was allowed to start early after the Easter holiday and not wait till after summer. This was “optional” but as I was so anxious to get to school my parents enrolled me. So there I was, the only new pupil at school that day and suddenly all that excitement turned to fear. I walked into a classroom of children who would essentially all be in the year ahead of me after the summer break. Uh, oh, what was I thinking? Just when I thought I might cry, a girl came up to me and took my hand. I never looked back!
Ignorance is blissWhen I think about these childhood events, I wonder what was in me at that young age that gave me the courage to start before I was ready? Maybe the wonderful thing about being a child is that you don’t overthink things or think too far ahead, that you talk yourself out of doing something. As adults we love to come up with all the practical, rational reasons why we shouldn’t do something and we can talk ourselves out of just about anything and make ourselves believe it was the right decision.
What holds us back?Mostly I think we’re afraid to fail. We’re afraid of being judged… and what will people think of us! Let’s bring back the boldness of our youth! Let’s DO, and TRY, and FAIL, and TRY AGAIN, and SUCCEED and feel BRAVE and PROUD and VIBRANT and ALIVE and BOLD! It’s never too late to start before you’re ready! What would you like to start? Please be brave and share below.
We hear it all the time “live in the moment” which is, without a doubt a lovely concept, but not always easy to achieve. Our lives are so busy and so full, that moments can pass us by, barely noticed. Sometimes we catch ourselves in a great moment that we know we should truly be savoring, but our mind is already wondering off to the next thing. Maybe we’re wondering how busy the traffic is going to be, what we’re making for dinner and how we’re going to fit in that load of laundry before the morning. Our minds can be so full and distracted that sometimes we don’t get to fully enjoy the moment, no matter how great it is.
Your presence is your present!Being truly present in the moment is a continuing challenge for me, and I doubt I’m alone. It is not easy to clear your mind and not think about what you’re doing next and whether you even have time for this “moment”. It could be that you bump into a friend at the post office. You’re thrilled to see them, and enjoy chatting and catching up but in the back of your mind you’re thinking I didn’t plan for this. I only allowed 5 minutes in my schedule for the post office visit and now I’m going to be behind on the rest of my day. Meanwhile, you’re missing out on the joy of being with your friend. Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to put all that other stuff out of our heads and simply be?
Who said there are no second chances?I decided that I will indeed continue to work on “living in the moment” but I also thought that perhaps there was something else I could do to honor the very concept of “moments” while I practice. Here’s what I came up with.
I will take a moment (or two) everyday to recapture a past moment in my life. To visualize it and enjoy the wonderful feelings surrounding it and to appreciate it for all that it was. It will be like I’m giving that moment a second chance and giving myself a second chance to be more present in it.There are so many moments that change and define our lives. I know that sometimes these moments can be sad, but for now, I am choosing to focus on the happy, positive ones and I encourage you to do the same.