• The Hopefulist

Learning to be present. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Learning to be present...in the moment...is one of the hardest things to do. It truly is the only way to experience all the goodness in life so it's worth working on. It's something that takes time to master and even more time to remember to keep doing it!

My favorite example of this is just a plain old cup of morning coffee. You don't realize how much you love it until you don't have it. I had to get some blood drawn on Saturday so I had to fast until I got there at 8 am. I had to go three whole hours without a cup of coffee and I missed it BAD! My husband greeted me outside the facility with a large cup of coffee from Wawa and that first taste was scrumptious! And the next, and even the next. But then I stopped paying attention to it. It's so simple yet so hard to maintain. It's the same thing with the food we eat. We often love the first few bites from our plate but then we shovel in the rest without really thinking about it or tasting it. It's time to focus on one task at a time. Every time you lift that coffee mug to your mouth stop for the moment. Relish the taste of it. Feel the warmth of the mug in your hands. Make it an experience.

We are so often on autopilot that we miss so much of what is right in front of us. Did someone ever compliment your work area and you realize you don't even notice it anymore. You may have put a lot of time, effort and money into your workspace. Take the time to appreciate it. Look at it when you come in first thing. Smile at how much you love it. Make it a little more cozy with a fuzzy throw for the back of your chair. Take in the scenery and appreciate it. Sit back with wonder at how much you love your space.

Being present has been something I have been practicing a lot when it comes to my dog. She's getting on in years and I want to relish every moment I have with her. I watch her sleep, I pet her almost every time she nudges me, I play ball with her when she's in the mood. I know that some day these moments will be gone and I want to cherish them now. Mostly, I want to be present for them. It's the best when she's nuzzled up to me on the couch and she starts to snore.

How do we make the most of these moments? Take notice of them more often. Stop what you are doing and just look around. When you make it a point to notice more I guarantee you will. One of the reasons I love my Christmas tree so much and usually put it up early and keep it up late is because I just sit and stare at it. It brings me into the present. It brings me into joy.

Once you start noticing things more often, remind yourself to keep doing it. Write yourself a note that says...stop and stare. Or...be present. It truly is a gift. It's human nature to go on autopilot which is why it's so hard to break the habit. But keep at it. It will be so worth it.

It's Tuesday! Grab a taco! Take the time today to notice one thing that you love in your everyday life. And you will go to bed thinking about it, prolonging the experience even more. Try it...see if it works. Now to out there and be badass! I'm right here, cheering you on!

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