Dear Why Team member,
I am willing to bet that if you would survey the people around you and ask them what they’d want more of, they’d each list TIME in their top 3 choices. While each of us are given the same amount of time, 24 hours a day, how we are living that time determines our experience of lack or abundance. It only stands to reason that if we feel its lack, then we must know how it feels to have it in abundance.
So… How may we more effectively have “the time of our lives”? Experience more abundance. And Why is it important that we do so?
We have the times of our life - when we acknowledge the present, when we know that THIS is the time of our life - this specific time - meaning right NOW. We can only live our life in our given moments. I highlighted given, to remind you of the gift you have been given, the present, in which you have to be present mindfully to experience. Having the time of our lives requires that we be more fully present IN THE TIME of our life. Wouldn’t you agree that the times when you were present-in-the-moment are the ones most engraved in your memory? In fact, stop right now, and think back to some of the great moments of your life. Great vacations, where everything around us is new and fresh can bring us more fully into the moment; the result is that we often reflect on these trips as some of the best times (moments) of our lives.
Notice that they are indeed moments. Notice how fully present you were in those moments. It was a great time in your life largely because you were more fully present for that time in your life. That time was not taken for granted.
Familiarity brings complacency. The well worn paths of our daily lives can lose their newness and freshness, they can fail to gain our attention, thus so much of the times of our lives are preoccupied with our To-Do lists, our constant review of our current circumstances and how to improve them, that we can often walk right by the flower that teaches us that just being is beauty. As the saying goes, “Don't forget to stop and smell the roses!”
When we fail to see the richness all around us in our given moments, we can begin to feel a sense of lack, a kind of poverty that feels real to us. The To-Do lists do need our attention, clearly there are things to do and people to see, but try putting reminders in your life, maybe an alarm on your phone that goes off a few times a day to remind you to stop for just a moment, observe the richness of the moment, express gratitude for it and then get back to whatever task you feel you need to complete. [An app that does just this and allows you to build a community of people that reinforce this value in your life is called Happier, and is available for iPhone and Android] When you become aware that you have been given a moment, take it, take notice in that moment to look beyond your ruminations and distractions to find great riches.
One of my favorite lessons from my youngest son Grayson involves time. We were in the back yard talking and swinging- if you have not swung with your children lately, do. I loved being a child with him and then all-of-a-sudden, I remembered, I had to leave town in an hour for a speaking engagement. My “reminder” must have shown on my face as Grayson asked me Dad, are you alright? Yes, Grayson, I just need to tell you that Daddy has to leave here shortly for a few days, and I’m sad I won’t be spending time with you. That’s alright Dad, you’re here with me NOW! – He saw the present he was given and he wasn’t going to have any less of it! He chose to be present, with me, every moment he had me near.
Every given moment is a gift to us. It is up to us to SEE it that way. Why? Because until we learn this practice, we're less able to have the time of our lives, to be more present, grateful and overflowing into the lives of others. When we believe the lie that our cups are empty or half full, we become those who seek to get more, rather than those who seek to give more. Live a life that is for-giving and taking notice of the riches around you in every given moment. Just as serving is its own reward, remember that feelings-of-lack reward us with just that, more of the same feeling. Look around you now to see the abundance present now, around you. See the people in your life and imagine how poor you would be were they not there. Consider the immeasurable joy of looking into loving eyes, being held, being with, and holding the ones we love who love us. Strive to be more present and you will be more of what the world needs now - and you'll really be there for the times of your life.
Make it a great week,