Summer Beautification Assignment 3: Focusing on Today

Happy Monday, beautiful friends! This is the last week of school for my boys. Grace graduated from kindergarten last week which was a bit emotional since she’s my last baby. She wanted to wear a dress and “high heels” which were actually little open-toe booties with a chunky heel. She looked so grown up as she was smiled at her reflection in the mirror.  I finished brushing her hair and she spun in a circle and watched the layer of tulle on her dress flare out slightly. I imagined her doing the same thing when she goes to a high school dance or even her wedding day and had to blink back a few tears. But I was trying so hard just to savor each moment of Friday morning with my sweet girl, focusing on the second I was in, not jumping ahead to the next thing. 

IMG-3291
Don’t blink! She was a baby only a minute ago.

  It’s hard to be in the present, isn’t it? It’s hard not to dwell on the past or worry about future and just to be in this moment right now. I think most of us are guilty of that. We are living for the weekend or we are ready to put the kids to bed so we can veg out in front of the T.V. or check our phones. We don’t find our jobs stimulating or fulfilling all the time so we get lost in daydreams about the what-ifs of life. 

  Dr. Seuss is quoted as saying, “Sometimes, you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” Wow, spot on, Seuss…from the profound depth of The Lorax to his many philosophical musings, he never ceased to say it right. So to live in the present means you’re appreciating the value in more of your daily moments instead of wishing your days away, looking to leap-frog to the next big thing. 

  For this weeks assignment, I am channeling one of my all time favorite movies, “About Time.” If you haven’t seen it, you definitely should–It’s free on Netflix. We are going to exercise focusing the mind on living in the present. You will need a notebook and a pen. That’s all. I like to get mine from Marshalls; they always have pretty ones, but really anything will do. I’ve just always loved fresh office supplies and writing utensils. Place them next to your bed and before drifting off each night, take a minute to write down something that made you smile, laugh, or touched your heart that day. Go back to that moment, if you can. Try to write down the colors you saw, the sounds you heard, if there were any smells…how did all of it make you feel. This is something you can continue for the rest of the program (or even beyond), if you like. Maybe you don’t do it every single day, but maybe you will capture some really beautiful moments that will become memories if you do. The point is to notice The Now without skipping forward to the Next Big Thing you think you want to live.   

Dr Suess Quote
Image by Creative Market.

If you already journal, this will be easy for you. This just gives your reflecting a little more focus. And remember, not all of the moments have to be happy! They might be sad but we can’t shy away from our feelings. Sometimes the most valuable lessons are born from pain. The important part is to simply be present. Life isn’t a dress rehearsal. It’s happening in real time. We only need to show up and exist in it.

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