“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
― Lao Tzu
This weekend we are in Park City, Utah to celebrate my wife’s birthday. Our kids are too young to ski or snowboard (and it’s too expensive for our financial situation right now), so we enjoy the shops, food, and hotel pool.
We’ve had a great time so far, but I’ve unfortunately spent too much of the trip stressed out. I was worried about all the things I wish I could do for my wife’s birthday and all the work that wasn’t getting done while I was enjoying this time with Family. But I didn’t give up and let the stress consume me.
Stress was my entire mental state, until last night just before bed.
It was about 10 pm, an hour past the kid’s bedtime, and they were bouncing around like it was 10 am. Usually, we let them have a little break and go to bed later when we’re doing something fun like this, but I knew that if they didn’t begin to calm down it would be another 2 hours before we slept.
Now, normally I get frustrated at how long it takes to get them to sleep. Particularly when I’m wanting to get up early the next day like I was.
Instead of getting frustrated, I recognized that it was more realistic to expect an hour for them to get to sleep. I took the time to enjoy relaxing and waiting for them to fall asleep.
I was even grateful for my 1-year old daughter’s little hand that reached for me as I lay down next to her. She snuggled up to me and fell asleep quickly.
It didn’t even take an hour for them to both go to sleep and, thankfully, I avoided getting frustrated entirely.
Living in the moment is all about patience.
I have the Headspace app to thank for this as well. Part of what helped me come to my stress-reducing realization was meditation. Taking time to relax, breathe, and just focus on being in the moment.
It’s hard in our modern, fast-paced world to take time out for ourselves. We may feel selfish for doing it. I’ve learned, however, that taking time to myself is the only way that I can have the strength of mind and body necessary to be exceptional to my wife and children.
If you want to learn to become patient and live in the moment, you have to take time out of your day to practice it.
Your ability to be patient and live in the moment is directly proportional to your level of education about it. If you want to live in the moment, you have to take the time to practice and learn how.
What would it mean to you if you could reduce your stress? To live more connected with the experiences and individuals around you that you love most?
To me, it’s worth anything and everything.
And I’m going to do anything and everything I can to make that higher level of connection a reality.