As much as I strive to be present in the moment, I''ll admit I sometimes struggle. As long as I can remember, my brain has always been on, always going a hundred miles and hour. Even when I'm doing something I enjoy, there's usually a list running in the back of my head "Okay, when I'm done here I have to stop at the grocery store for milk, then I'll go home and start the laundry, put meat out to thaw for dinner, walk the dog, check the mail, work on my essay..." and that list is never ending. As I prepare for an up coming event, even if I'm looking forward to it, it's always been an item to check off the list "This weekend we've got the bar-b-que at So & So's on Saturday then we're taking that hike on Sunday, I've got practice on Monday, the concert on Thursday, the next weekend is the camping trip, the weekend after that we're going to Denver..." I'm a planner. That's just how I'm wired. I want to know what's happening next so I can be prepared, get finished and on to the next thing. It's allowed me to do a lot of things but it's also caused me a lot of grief and quite honestly it's exhausting.
This is one of the reasons I started seeing my life coach. I felt like I was missing out on life because I was worrying so much about the next thing on the list. I knew I needed to make some changes but I honestly didn't know how to go about it. A lot of the work we've done has been focused on slowing down, being present in each thing I do, experiencing it completely and then moving on to the next thing. It's been hard work. During this time I've been unemployed, I've been taking things one day at a time. When I first left my job, friends wanted to know "What's your plan? What are you going to do next?" and for the first time in my life I could answer "I don't know and I'm okay with that" and truly mean it. It's been scary and liberating at the same time. I know that eventually I want to be a taxidermist but there's a lot of unknowns between here and there. I'm currently not generating any income and while at times that can be a little unnerving, I've decided to accept this time as a gift. I'm probably not going to have a phase like this again. I'm trying to enjoy it instead of letting it stress me out.
One of my mantras during my work with my coach has become "Be here now". I've jotted into the margins of my notebooks, I've repeated it to myself during both enjoyable experiences and unpleasant ones. I considered getting these words tattooed inside my left wrist but that didn't feel quite right. I started looking for a piece of jewelry with this phrase on it and still couldn't find exactly what I had in mind. That's when I called on one of my roller derby teammates who is a metalsmith. I tossed the idea out to her and she was more than enthusiastic to make me something that will help serve me on my journey. I could see it in my head so I gave her some ideas, she drew up some sketches, got my feedback and then got to work.
I wear the bracelet every day, for just about everything I do. I look down at it when I start to feel restless or simply need a reminder that this very moment is worth experiencing to it's fullest. When I'm waiting in a line and I'm bored or when I'm on the phone with my mom and she won't stop talking, these are times I need to say "Okay brain, slow down. What's going on here that's worth noticing?" It's definitely easier said than done. There are still times when I get impatient or rushed. Even so, I think it's cool that I can look down at this little thing that was made just for me.