I begin each day by naming my intention - the quality I want to embody or have support me throughout the day. Frequently it's “love, ” “openness,” or “presence” and recently I am simply claiming “live.” This day… I just want to live it - not “seize it” but be present for it. I don't need to make myself get up at 4 AM in order to have self-care time or to “get the most out of this day.” And, I don't want to miss it, waiting for the things I'm excited about or the things I fear.
I want to notice the sweet moments and not take things for granted. So much I take for granted. I want to put down the distractions and be present when my son calls or I'm talking with my husband. Even in moments with myself, let go of multi-tasking so that I can be present. To be here now - to feel what it's like to be me in this moment. I also want to intentionally build my life around the things that matter most.
I want to say “yes!” to the walk with my loved ones rather than listen to another pre-recorded program that I'm already behind in. That can wait. This opportunity is here now, and it truly is a once in a lifetime moment. Each moment is. None of us has ever been in this moment before. Your body has never felt exactly as it does right now, even though you're making familiar motions, scrolling through your device as you have a million times before.
I also don't want to dwell unnecessarily on things from the past - regrets, hurts, misunderstandings, mis-steps that I could easily ruminate on endlessly. Nor do I want to be consumed by fears of what lies ahead - how things might go wrong, what awful things could happen, what I will do when my loved one dies. Because, truly, I have no idea what I will do or when that moment will come. I can trust I will show up to it then and remember that it is not happening now. Our minds are so quick to drag us into the past or shoot us into the future. It takes presence and awareness to keep coming back to this moment.
All I know for sure is what's here today - this plain ordinary grey chilly day. I am appreciating sleeping in supported by the extra darkness - the coziness of our bed, the heat that warms our home against today's chill. There is so much I take for granted in these simple ordinary days. I don't need to pressure myself to “savor them." No. I simply need to experience what's right here - this fuzzy pink robe, this soft cuddly warm purple blanket - feel myself embraced in their warmth. The next moment will come - I'm sure of that.
I don't want to look for everything that's wrong - the piles of mail and books on the counter, the dust building up on the dresser, the kale wilting in the produce drawer. It's too easy to get caught up in what I haven't done, what I should do, how I suck at housekeeping, or how my extra pandemic weight has lead me to buy a new pair of jeans in a size I've never had before.
I don't want a full life (at least not an overly full one) or a busy life - I hate how we've glorified being busy! We have a good life. Even with an unknown future ahead of us. We have a good life. We live in a cozy home in a beautiful place. I don't want to miss it. My health is good despite the daily aches and the extra bulges that I clearly don't care enough about to change.
I want to do things that don't make sense simply because they bring me joy. I want to be generous and spread love and compassion and give gifts when I can simply because I can. I want to live in a way that is nourishing to my soul - to prioritize those things that fill me up from the inside out.
Recently I shared a passage from Jeff Foster's book The Way of Rest with my Soul Care group entitled “These Are the Days” which looked at the miraculous in ordinary moments. We ended by responding to the prompt, “If I were given just one more day, let me…”
It was profoundly insightful to each of us in considering how we want to live this day - because maybe this IS the one. Who knows? It's here now. Therefore, it matters. It is calling to be lived - not for me to have goals or to be productive or even to make a difference. Simply to be embraced and lived. And, I'm pretty sure my odds are better at making a difference, at being productive, if I show up to it with an open heart, present to myself and others.
We miss out on so much in the “between” moments - the ones that don't necessary feel special. We miss them because we are waiting for the grand ones or the awful ones. I want to breathe in this one. That softens and opens me… Will you join me? How do you want to live this day?
Take a few minutes to ponder, meditate on, or free write into the prompt, “If I were given just one more day, let me…” If you choose to write, keep your hand moving across the page or keyboard for however many minutes you choose. If you get stuck, write the prompt again or “I don't know…” until you get flowing again. This process will allow you to get beneath the first thoughts and into deeper truths.
- What rises up for you as most important?
- How might you apply this to the rest of your life?
- Why do these permissions or desires only feel possible if it were your last day?
- What changes might you make in order to be more present with your aliveness in these ordinary moments?
- How can you structure your days around the things that matter most?
Resources for you
This week's guided meditation is “Alive in This Moment.” Give yourself the gift of a few minutes to sit with yourself as you are for this practice. May it nourish and support you.
Please visit my Resource Page! Here you will find so much goodness to support you throughout your days - ordinary ones, wonderful ones, and harder ones.