As the year draws to a close I know my attention is shifting from looking back and reflecting on the year that has just passed to looking forward with renewed hope and focus on what lies ahead. I’ve set new goals and have already got carried away with planning for my trips to the various destinations I’d like to explore next year!
But this time three years earlier I was in a very different space, I had just separated from my husband and was mostly in a zombie state focussed on surviving each day. I felt as if I was just existing rather than consciously living, and looking back now I realise that it was at that time I learned what it meant to truly be here now.
My world had been shattered, my hopes and dreams for the future had been wiped out and I wandered aimlessly in a fog. Time passed so slowly I thought the pain I was feeling would never leave. I looked for ways to numb or avoid the pain, distracting myself with mindless television or sleeping, anything that would give me rest-bite from listening to the endless mind chatter playing out my fears on continuous loop. I wished for time to fast forward to a point when I no longer felt the hurt.
But the distractions weren’t enough I couldn’t escape into another world or fast forward the one I was in.
I’m not quite sure how, but I realised I needed to allow the voices in my head to just be, to not fight them or try to ignore them but to accept them and acknowledge the pain I was feeling and not to deny myself. By doing this in some small way I regained control because it was me calling the shots now, not the voices of fear.
The irony was that by allowing myself to feel the pain it appeared that it passed much quicker than when I fought with it. In allowing the pain I became more conscious of the moments that pain was not present and I appreciated even more the beauty of those moments. Going for walks, being with nature, spending quality time with family and friends were activities that my pain could join me in if it wanted to but over time it got bored with hanging out and allowed me to just be and soak up the joy of being present in the moment, consciously living.
We all know time is our most valuable resource or perhaps we don’t, because we give it away so easily. We guard our money with more ferocity than we guard our time and yet we don’t know in which moment our time will run out, we spend it as if were a never-ending supply.
We have more distractions now than ever before, the biggest one being our phone! I witness, as I’m sure you do, on a daily basis how we humans are captured by the content on our phones and observe how ironic it is that whilst we all seek connection we often choose disconnection, unaware of those physically around us and communicating with those in our virtual reality.
I’m here today in Byron Bay enjoying the Christmas break with friends, we’ve enjoyed an abundance of mindful activities including sea-kayaking, dancing on the beach whilst posing for a photo, immersing our bodies in tea tree lakes, watching the sunset and watching the sunrise and feeling the blissful energy that surrounds these magical times of the day. We’ve enjoyed good conversations together and our alone time too.
Whilst I look forward to the year ahead I do so in the knowledge that I won’t solely focus on the future or get lost in reflecting on the past, I’m conscious and aware and thanks to pain I truly know how to be here now.
Are you here now?
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, With Love Glin