Balancing growth and mindfulness

by Rebecca A. Watson on July 4, 2012

in attention, exercise, holidays, Just Be, life, reflection

It’s Independence Day here in the United States, and it coincides with my own personal Independence Day three years ago when I moved out of Minnesota to California.

Independence from snow. From cold and extreme heat. (Lordy, I don’t miss that!) And independence from old definitions, habits and choices. Aside from my birthday, this is one of my favorite personal holidays to celebrate.

In celebrating this personal holiday for the past three years, I’ve noticed that my independence continues to evolve. It seems each year I have something more to celebrate, something new to move toward. While it can sometimes seem overwhelming and difficult, growth isn’t always a popular choice.

tree big basin

Ah, but life is long, isn’t it? Maybe I’m not going to live as long as this tree, but since time is relative, I hope it feels that way when I get finally say goodbye to this earth.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my life path. Seeing that tree this week isn’t the only thing that has me thinking long-term. Or casting my eye toward my future a bit more.

It seems for many years I’ve been looking back and comparing myself to the person I was, comparing my life to how I used to live. It’s not entirely a bad thing. I’ve made some drastic and beautiful changes; I’m proud of them and feel justified in dwelling for awhile.

rebecca past present

But lately my inner-voice is saying, Yes, you did that. But what are you about to doThere are so many things I can answer with, but it comes to this: I want to live in this moment.

Goals are great to keep you moving forward. Growth is awesome. But so often I get stuck between reveling in the past and planning for the future I forget that this is it. It’s all happening now.

So I’ll still celebrate my evolving independence. And yes, I’ll continue to make vision boards to remind me of future goals. But what I’m aiming for is a more mindful present. To “just be,” as my friend Johanna and I used to say.

Exercise is probably the best way that I’ve found to keep me in the moment. Trying new things also makes it pretty easy. (I would’ve fallen a lot more mountain biking this past weekend if I was thinking about meetings I had later in the week.)

And Sante and I try to remind each other as well, asking “Where are you right now?” when we notice the other person is off in another world

What helps you to stay in the present moment? I’m open to any and all suggestions, so please comment! Any resources you found helpful (books, websites, videos, etc.) would be great.

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