It is when I am not present in the moment that the trouble starts. Worrying about what is to come, fretting over what has been. This is no good. Nothing can be done to change it, so let it be. That is a good phrase, worth repeating, Let IT Be. Let what has been, BE. Let what will be, BE. And then I have what is left, NOW. What a simple, yet massive challenge for a list-making planner and anxiety generating Worrywart like me. I ask a lot of myself to be present. It takes practice and discipline. It may even be hard work. I think, it may just be worth the extra effort, though. The rewards are huge. And, it makes me feel a little giddy to think that it is really this simple. A lifetime of preparing and tweaking and refining and improving could melt away to this moment of breathing and being, alive and well in the here and now, filled with gratitude.
I walked out the door this morning to take June the cold-suspicious dog out for a very quick run. She has short hair with pink skin underneath and thinks the temperature should always remain above 30*. I tend to agree with her. So, we were reluctantly leaving the warmth of the house. I opened the door and the chill in the air took my breath away. It was that cold.
“Come on. Let’s do this.” I said over my shoulder to June. She looked at me reproachfully but, needs must and we went out into the Polar Vortex winter of a Michigan January. You pay attention when it is that cold. It snaps you into the moment.
“Damn it is cold.” I mutter, as my feet crunched the snow on the path and June ran off. Once I adjusted to the shock of being outdoors, I began to look around. The snow was sparkling and twinkling like diamonds and glitter.
“This is some Badass Snowflakery.” I said to the disappeared dog. It was magic. So pretty that I stood there in the 7* and took it in. The snow was magnificent and that was all there was to see. Amazing. It wasn’t difficult to be in the moment, then. In fact, it was impossible not to be. Mother Nature had dropped down some magic glitter snow and that shit can’t be ignored.
The practice for me, then becomes, how to stay in the moment when there isn’t a dramatic carpet of frozen ice crystals at your feet. Or, maybe the trick is to see the awesomeness in the seemingly mundane. But, come on, am I listening to myself? There is nothing mundane about being on this spinning orb of water, land and life in the middle of a limitless sky filled with stars and I don’t know what else. It is beyond wow. So, the practice for me, then becomes, open my eyes, open my ears, look around at the constant display of miracles presenting themselves to me all over the damn place. Be breathless with this, be awed by this gift of life.
I don’t know, perhaps the thing to being present is to simply appreciate the beauty and the abundance, feel gratitude for what is right here in front of me at this very moment. Even if the moment is a dark one. I can find some light. I can see the glitter snow.