I caught an article the other day by a woman who said she was sick and tired of people telling her to enjoy every moment of motherhood— to carpe diem, as it were.
She has trouble, as she said, carpe-ing 15 minutes, much less an entire diem.
I totally get that. I remember a time in my life when not only did I want to stuff a rag in the maw of anyone who told me to ‘think positive’, but when I truly thought there was ‘no hope’ for me.
I had read seemingly every self-help book on the market, attended seminars, meditated, gone to psychics, had tarot cards and my palm read, tried various forms of energy work, and concluded at one point in my mid-thirties that there was nothing else I could do, that everyone who said there was a ‘better life’ than the one I was living was- plain and simple- full of shit.
In fact, I reached a point where I believed that the ‘personal development’ industry was nothing more than a sham, meant to part me and my money with no attempt at delivering value.
(For the record, there are things about the ‘personal development’ industry that I don’t support or advocate, but that’s a topic for another time.)
The thing is, these days I’m the poster child for appreciating the present moment. And not just appreciating it, but learning how to harness its power to change my circumstances.
In other words, I’m happy where I am right now, AND my circumstances are changing before my very eyes.
I’m more productive and creative than I’ve ever been in my life. Not only that, but my finances have improved, my relationships have become stronger and deeper, my stress level has gone down- even during one of the busiest times of my life.
And I have the courage and confidence to make bold decisions and, even more importantly, to ACT on those decisions.
Some people are born with a well-developed sense of this ‘present moment appreciation’. Some develop it as a result of a near-death experience.
For me, it took manifesting a bunch of stuff I wanted and STILL not being happy.
And here’s what I’ve learned through my experience of hopefulness… and seeking… and disillusionment. . . and, finally, the discovery of bliss.
Bliss does not mean ‘nothing bad ever happens to me’.
What it means is that I am able to show up for my life with courage, understanding, and the deep inner knowledge of these three truths:
Truth #1: everything is perfectly imperfect.
There will never be a time when I will have all my sh#t together and my to-do list completely ‘ta-da!’-done. How boring would it be if that were the case? I mean, really.
I can imagine standing in the middle of my living room, knowing I’d read all the books that had ever been written, visited all the places I could possibly visit (including virtual places like websites and facebook pages and twitter profiles), tasted all the food there was to taste, met everyone in the world, cured cancer, found a way to stop dust from appearing on my furniture, brushed my teeth for the last time, and. . .
Now nothing. That’s called death (and I’ll get to that in a moment).
Truth #2: The only thing that 'should' be happening in this moment is what IS happening in this moment.
How could it be any other way?
If I’m in disagreement with life in the moment it shows up, I’m not sure how I can expect it to agree with me.
Truth #3: I'm not getting out of here alive anyway.
Not to be, you know. . . like, morbid or anything. . . but yes. I am going to die someday.
May as well spend the moments I have doing awesome sh#t (or not) and feeling amazing when I do awesome sh#t (or not).
It’s taken me awhile to really grasp these truths, though. And like I said, grasping them isn’t some sort of insurance policy against ‘bad’ events.
It’s a way to see that those events are really the cosmos having a conversation with me. Showing me where I need to correct my course, or what lesson I need to learn, or when I just need to stop for a moment and have a good laugh.