In my business, we talk a LOT about being “in the moment,” and what it takes to be fully present as a teacher in class. Any thought of the future (what comes next) OR of the past (regrets of things undone, stresses you carried with you into the moment you are in) ROB you of being in the moment. You cannot be fully present to the moment you are in, nor embrace “what is” right now, unless you channel yourself out of the past and the future. In doing so, you must also let go of the results you desire for the moment you are in and let them unfold organically. Here’s an example: my daughter-in-law had, on her Christmas wish list for my grandkids, age-appropriate games they could begin to play together. I searched and found “Soggy Doggy,” a game that has a cute, rubber dog siting with a shower rod over his head and a water-filled tub basin below him; with each roll of the dice a playing piece is moved around the board, and a resulting instruction on each landing spot has the player turning or pushing the shower knobs; with each push/turn, the doggy has the possibility of having “had enough” of the bath, whereby he begins to shake incessantly.
Now I LOVE board games, and was a bit determined to understand, and properly teach our 3 and 2 year old the rules – only TWO twists of the faucet, per the instructions on the space on which you land, going only one direction around the game board, etc! But once the doggy had his first shaking frenzy, all rules were abandoned, as the kids just had to sneak in an extra turn and push of the knobs to achieve “shaking status,” after which they would laugh hysterically. At first I tried to regain order (and “control” of the situation), but it hit me, suddenly, that my desire to see how winning was achieved (by making my daughter-in-law get out the instructions and read these details) robbed me, a bit, of the sheer joy of the moment we were in – Momma, Aunt, Grandma, and two precious ones siting, on the kitchen floor, in anticipation of a silly shaking, wet dog, in anticipation of laughter that filled the room, in anticipation of creating a Christmas memory, one that could be relived like the Santas and ornaments unpacked each year.
Stop to think about living towards “product” (ie achievement) or embracing the “process.” How can you frame your heart and mind differently in 2018? How can you give yourself fully to whatever moment you are in? What does it require of you? For me, it requires, for one, not being ruled by the clock! It means accepting that the moments of each day will come and go, ebb and flow, like the tide of the ocean, regardless of what I do (or do not do), and that this is exactly as it should be; it means putting down my phone more and tending to the faces and words of those around me; it means being organized and prepared so I can let go in the moment I am in; it requires knowing that I am human and fail, but also that, as one who tries to embrace excellence, integrity, love and acceptance, when I do my best, my best is good enough for the moment I am in; it means not looking back or judging the past (nor that of another!); it means not being ruled by the opinions of others; it means knowing that I am forgiven by the one who loves me and who matters most; it means knowing that each tomorrow is another beautiful day of opportunity. As I work towards these things, I can give my heart and mind fully to the moment I am in. The results are acceptance, patience, forgiveness, love and peace. And if I can foster that for my own being, my heart and mind are transformed, and I can extend the same to others.
I wish for you, friends, such a “process over product” life in 2018, and its resulting richness and abundance in the coming year.