Saying that our society is fast paced seems to be an understatement. Everyone is making goals and implementing fantastic strategies to meet them. Our children are just as competitive: because of our doing, sports are no longer enough, but you have to be in private lessons to make them more successful in the sport of their choosing. We are competitive, driven, and we err on the side of perfectionism. We have five year plans, ten year plans, retirement plans. We have things we need to accomplish: books that need to be written, corporations that need to be started, schools we need our children to get in to, and so on and so on.
As a whole, we have become so focused on the future and what we need to be doing to get us where we want to be that we have stopped remembering that there is a today. A day that’s happening right now that we need to be present in.
I turn 40 at the end of this month. I know this is totally cliché but seriously, where has the time gone?
I have spent the last 40 years pushing to get somewhere…
Somewhere that I am sure was really important to me at some point, but in the push to “get somewhere” I have forgotten to live my life, to enjoy my journey. I forgot to breathe. I forgot to play and enjoy this beautiful playground we have been given by our Father who loves us. I forgot to be present. I forgot to notice the daily gifts we are given to help us celebrate each day. While always looking ahead, asking what do I need to do to get where I need to go, I forgot to… just be.
I work with people every day, helping them see the bread crumbs that are leading them to their destiny. From there, we talk through a plan to get them to that place. We set goals, we talk about obstacles.
Over the last year, my approach has changed dramatically. I still help people identify their path, set goals, and structure their life to move forward each day, but I place a heavy emphasis on enjoying the journey. Being present in the middle. Recognizing the daily gifts given to us. The importance of breathing, of being present, and enjoying each step. I believe that these things are more important than reaching the destination. Reaching the destination is not the point. The point is enjoying and learning from our journey.
Simple steps to enjoy your journey…
Understand where you are going.
The goals are important. I set spiritual, emotional, and physical goals each year around my birthday. I examine the past year and recognize the growth (or lack thereof) and make the needed adjustments. I understand that I am a three part being (spirit, soul, and body) and it is up to me (with God’s help, of course) to nourish and help each portion grow. I look for fruit in my life. I sit and meditate, asking the Lord to show me the way He is leading me. I have become very sensitive to His bread crumbs. I use the bread crumbs to readjust my goals.
Tomorrow is important, but not as important as today. I am very mindful and appreciative, understanding that each breath, each moment is a gift. I look for ways to connect with the people in my life, whether that looks like putting my phone down when my kids are in the room or taking the time to speak to my neighbor when we are outside. Connection is important. He desires us to connect to people every day.
Find ways to celebrate and appreciate your day.
Each moment is a gift from God. Be mindful of things that you can celebrate and appreciate throughout the day. Do so in the moment but then begin the practice of sharing them as a family. Ask them at dinner or bedtime what were three things you experienced today that we can celebrate? What did you most appreciate about this day? Asking and answering these questions together will help your family learn the importance of noticing the joyful moments.
Give yourself permission to enjoy your life. Verbally give yourself permission to laugh each day. It’s not only OK but it pleases The Father’s heart to see His children enjoy their journey!
My last 40 years seemed so rushed that I am fully committed to my next 40 years feeling much different.