We all are such in a hurry, do you ever notice that?
We rush to work. We rush to get to lunch. We rush home. We rush to get to the soccer game.
Our daily "rushes" turn into rushing for days, weeks, or months for particular days. Think about Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving, the countdown starts. It's unavoidable. On the news, on our Facebook feed, in conversations with friends.
We rush for actual goals. We rush to loose 10 pounds- it NEEDS to be done by April 1st. We rush to get our children reading. We rush for them to learn how to add. Then subtract, Then multiply.
From an early age, children learn that life is all about continually focusing on the next THING.
I'm completely guilty of this. Right now I am counting down the days until a special vacation with my husband in September. We booked the trip last June. By the time September comes, I will have been sitting on my hands for 15 months just WAITING.
During the day, I rush to get my 10,000 steps. That wacky mom at the bus stop doing jumping-jacks? That's me. I literally just ran in place for 30 seconds while I heated my coffee up. I can't stop.
None of us can, really. It's so ingrained in us to constantly go. We will never be fully satisfied. But by doing so, I that I think we miss the moments that can truly spark joy.
The other night I was walking the dogs. The stars were out. All was calm. I looked up at the sky, and an unfamiliar feeling came over me.
In that moment, everything was okay. Nothing else mattered. I felt peace.
Where is this feeling the rest of the time?
Since I've started opening myself to doing readings and questions a mere 10 days ago, about half questions have had to to do with a time, "When is such and such happening?" This isn't a bad thing. I'm guilty of this too, asking my mentor questions similar. It's okay. What isn't okay though is when focusing on the future takes away from the joy that is right in front of us today. Right now.
Stop reading for a moment and look around the room you are in. Be present. What do you see? What do you hear? What is beautiful and joyful right in this moment? If you could go back 5 or 10 years, could you have pictured your life just as it is today? Is it better? Is it worse? If it is worse- what's one thing you have right at this moment that you didn't have before? Maybe it's something as simple as a Keurig coffee maker. (I know they are bad for the environment but darn if I don't love how convenient it is.) Maybe you have a warm sweater on that you wouldn't have pictured yourself wearing before. If you're having trouble finding the little things, look harder. I told someone today to try and find those little tiny things that may be bothering her. The same could be said for the little things that bring us joy. My husband gave me a "Wonder Woman" coffee mug for Valentine's day. You should have seen his face when he gave it to me. He was so proud of himself. When I drank coffee out of the mug this morning, I saw his face in my mind- and it brought me a little spark of joy.
The thing about little sparks is they turn into big sparks. Positive energy and feelings create bigger ones that create any bigger ones. I've heard the same about gratefulness. I'm sure you've heard all of the research that's gone into how people that list what they are grateful for become happier. I remember the first time I heard that, I rolled my eyes. How is being grateful going to create happiness? It doesn't exactly. You can say, "I feel grateful I have food on the table" and you're not going to feel a surge of good. But- if you stop in the moment and watch your kids eat a carrot, or your dog eat their food, you might feel a surge of something. You might remember when you kid hated carrots, or you might remember the day you rescued your dog from the shelter. There. That's where gratefulness lies. You can't just say it. You have to feel it. When I understood that part of gratefulness- that I actually had to feel it, I started to see it play out more in my life.
Feeling joy doesn't stop me from waiting anxiously for my trip, or rushing to make my steps. But it does stop me for a second. It allows me to be in the moment, no matter how small, and breathe. I can stop and say, "I love right where I am, right what I am doing." Joy. Gratefulness. Love. It rolls into a beautiful ball of energy, and that's where you'll see it start working it's magic. Remember when I talked about positive energy attracting positive energy a few days ago? That's it. It's really feeling it, not just saying it. I know it's hard. I struggle with it every single day.
This last week, as joyful as I have been about this new path I am on, I have been impatient. I've been rushing I've been hustling. Instagram. Facebook. My website. I'm trying to hurry this venture just as I am trying to hurry getting my steps in. Things don't work that way though, do they? You can't rush success. You can't rush happiness. Darn it if I don't try. I often forget that it's the process that makes the end result so happy. It's like Christmas. Christmas day is usually wonderful. (Hopefully, minus family fighting or awkward conversations. Forgive me if this isn't the best example for you, personally.) It's the end result of a month of Christmas music, decorations, and parties. You have beautiful presents under the tree (another thing that reminds us to "rush" and "wait" at the same time) and now it's time. All of this waiting results in one single day. 15 waking hours (give or take) That's it. That's a lot of freaking work for one day. -If we focus on just "that day." BUT- if we focus on the preparations. The homemade bread that you only make during Christmas time. Your annual Black Friday shopping that you always do with your sister. The Christmas train ride. Donating to your favorite charity. Then instead of one day of joy- you have 30 days.
So, just for today I want you to take a breath. A big one. An actual one. Don't just read this and don't take a breath. Close your eyes. Search yourself.
What is making you happy right now?
Hold on to that. Feel it's joy. Breathe it in and let the feeling spread over your entire body. Open your eyes, and continue on with your day. Accept the rush. Accept the annoyances. It's okay. As long as we have a little bit of joy, it'll hold us through the harder parts.
It's okay to be in a hurry, as long as we take time for those little tiny moments that make every day joyful.