>It’s two days past Easter and, for those of us living in South Jersey, the weather is amazing! It’s 88 degrees outside! We haven’t felt temps like this since early fall last year. With the weather being so nice, you might be wondering, why the heck am I not outside enjoying the weather, but I really am enjoying the day.
I’m sitting in my kitchen nook, doing what I do best: multi-tasking!! Lol! The sliding glass door is open; all of the windows are open; and the ceiling fan is circulating an abundance of fresh air throughout the house. I’m babysitting for a friend. My son and two other kids ages 7 & 9 just came in from outside and are drained from playing in the heat. Gee, I never thought that I could even think about mouthing the word “heat” when just a month ago, we were buried in snow. Anyway, all three kids are quietly lying on the sofa watching “Finding Nemo” for the umpteenth time! And me…. Walla! I’m trying to get my writing thing on…
Recently, a colleague gave me a copy of Russell Simmons, “Do You!” It’s a great read, a little philosophical, but yet, incredibly thought provoking. Quite a few passages have really struck me, one such passage reads:
“The most powerful step in realizing your potential is simply to be present in the
world. That might seem so obvious that it barely bears repeating, but operating
outside of the present is actually what separates all of us from the happiness we
desire.” “Too often we spend our lives drifting between the past and the future,
instead of rooting ourselves in the moment. And living like that, you become
your worst enemy. You wait for things to happen instead of making them
happen. You imagine what happiness is like instead of appreciating the
happiness that is already present in your life… You must embrace the present.
Never forget that…”
These are some very powerful words that moved me to reflect on my own life. I should say further reflect, because not a day goes by where I’m not thinking about how I could have done something better or handled a situation differently, or something along those lines. Anyway, more specifically I started thinking my personal life. I am definitely happy, but recall moments when I’ve had thoughts such as, “I will be glad when my son is old enough to bath without supervision.” “I can’t wait until the summer arrives,” or some other thought that doesn’t involve the present and involves me “drifting in the future.”
I’ve taken Russell’s (in my mind, we’re friends now) words to heart and, particularly Easter Sunday tried to apply his principal.
As usual, we hosted another family dinner at our home. Because of typical family issues that have occurred over the past two years, for once, I really didn’t want to host dinner. But decided to host dinner anyway and more so for my elderly aunts. They’re getting too old to cook the big dinners; it’s their time to sit back and enjoy. There’s a long history, but the short is, they’ve been a part of my life forever– the good—the bad— and the—you know the rest. Including my mom, there were nine sisters; seven are still living; five still live in the area. As with many families, there are serious generational differences and, as you might imagine, sometimes the differences clash.
Drifting between the past and the future revealed some unsettling emotions and those emotions almost tripped me into bagging Easter dinner. Reflecting on my friend Russell’s words inspired me to host dinner and “embrace the present.” He was right! Easter dinner turned out to be wonderful! The 20 something’s bridged nicely with the 40 something’s who bridged nicely with the 65 & older group. I focused on the present and genuinely enjoyed my day.
For those of you who’ve already unknowingly mastered Russell’s concept, great! I’d love for you to share more of your wisdom with me and with others, please post your thoughts. If the idea is new to you, try it. This concept can apply to your career, a project, or anything else that you’ve been thinking about doing. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to “do you,” start acting now. Think forward, but remain present!