“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live”
How incredibly empowering and true is this quote by Dalai Lama? This ‘present moment’ living and awareness took me years to learn and to live by and it is something that I constantly practise and work hard to maintain daily. It is a constant commitment and practice but I can guarantee you that if and when you pledge to yourself to learn how to live more mindfully and more consciously, you will never be able to live any other way again. You will feel truly alive, truly earthed, truly connected to yourself, to your life, to your soul, to your existence and to your purpose. You will wonder how you ever got ‘stuck’ living with yesterday’s experiences or values or tomorrows non-guaranteed expectations and assumptions.
One of the ways in which I trained my brain and continue to do so daily, in how to be more present, more aware and more grateful in my present moment is by affirming to myself daily, numerous times per day, that ‘today I GET to’ do whatever it is that I am doing. I remind myself that ‘today I don’t HAVE to’ do whatever it is that I am doing but that I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to actually do whatever it is that I want to do. I constantly remind myself that not everybody gets the gift and opportunity of a promised new day ahead. So many people would do anything for this opportunity and yet, there are so many of us that don’t fully realise and may even take for granted the capabilities that we are individually gifted with every day.
Another way that I increased my present moment awareness and living was by introducing daily ‘appreciation’ and ‘thankfulness’ into my life. Everyday, I start and end my day expressing my gratitude for my body and all its internal organs and functions, my overall health (even if it’s been a day where I felt a bit off or sickly, I am still alive!), my mind, emotions, family, friends, animals and everything that I have in my life. I more so express appreciation for the ‘little’ things in my life, which are funnily the ‘biggest and most important’ things in my life. A quote I love, which reflects this is:
“Don’t take your health for granted. Don’t take your body for granted. Do something today that communicates to your body that you desire to care for it. TOMORROW IS NOT PROMISED”
(Jada Pinkett Smith)
Sometimes, when I talk to people about ‘appreciation’ and ‘gratitude’, they express that they can’t seem to find things in their lives to be grateful about or that they are so consumed in their daily experiences or traumas, through no fault of their own, that they can’t see by them, they can’t see any of the good things they may possess. What I always explain is that sometimes, we can get ‘stuck’ living our ‘today’ with yesterdays ‘tried and tested’ methods, emotions, attitudes and so on. We can get so used to using the same tools and techniques that we always use to navigate through our lives that we can become clouded in our judgements and in our ability to see that ‘there may be another way’ or ‘there may be another attitude or viewpoint’ that could work. I always encourage myself and others to try and view any life obstacles or events as ‘challenges’ and to try to imagine how you would feel when you overcome or defeat these challenges in your life.
A quote to illustrate this is:
“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful”
So why not start today to introduce, adopt and implement a daily ‘appreciation’ or ‘gratitude’ practice? Either verbalising or writing down the good things, the ‘gifted opportunities’ that you have in your life, can really help to create a prime focus at the start and end of your day. It can help you to realise and establish what the ‘little’ things are that you have in your life and just how ‘important’ these little things can be!
Living your life with the mindset that ‘today, I GET to …..’ is so powerful and automatically makes you feel grateful and appreciative for even getting to open your eyes every new dawning day.
A thought to leave you with is:
“TODAY IS LIFE. The only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto”
How to implement the mindset that ‘today I GET to …..’ into your life:
The following is a guide on how to implement the mindset that ‘today I GET to …..’ into your life:
- Each morning, as you awake and get out of bed, pause for a moment to express appreciation that you can open your eyes, that your heart is beating, that your lungs are breathing.
2. As you start your day, express appreciation that ‘today I GET to ….’go to work, look after my family, get some fresh air, do the grocery shopping, clean my house…..
3. If you can, try and create a space of even 5-10mins daily (preferably in the morning and the evening) to either write or verbally express all of the elements you have in your life that make you who you are and that you are grateful for.
4. Throughout your day, implement ‘pause moments’, where you pause what you are doing, take a few moments to take some deep breaths, really bringing your awareness to your chest and lungs as they fill with fresh air and life force energy.
5. Before you go to sleep each night, either write down or verbally express your gratitude and appreciation for the day of your life just lived. Whether it was a good or bad day, your heart was still beating and your lungs were still breathing, you were gifted with another day of precious life.
Thank you as always to Brian O’Loughlin and his team at Celtic Media Group (https://www.anglocelt.ie/, https://www.con-telegraph.ie/, https://www.meathchronicle.ie/, https://www.offalyindependent.ie/, https://www.westmeathexaminer.ie/ and https://www.westmeathindependent.ie/ for all their wonderful help!
As published by The Celtic Media Group in The Anglo Celt, Connaught Telegraph, Meath Chronicle, Offaly Independent, Westmeath Examiner and Westmeath Independent newspapers w/c 25/01/2021