"I give thanks for arriving safely in a new dawn. For the gift of eyes to see the world, the gift of mind
to feel at home in my life." *
Do you feel at home in your life?
I remember our fixer upper homes early in our marriage. I enjoyed watching home decorating shows and looking at magazines and catalogs to get tips and ideas. The options were endless and it was fun to imagine all we could possibly do. Then I woke up one day and decided to enjoy our home the way it was instead of wishing for what it could be.
I have learned to be content: to feel at home in my life. However, I have moments when my smile wanes; when my heart is hurting and my mind is foggy, overcrowded or stuck. When this happens I realize I have usually either fallen into the past or the future. Neither is a helpful place to land for too long.
There’s a better way. I can focus on where my feet are planted in the here and now and move into the present. I can claim what is true right now. I can inhabit the moment. This simple practice grounds me and changes my perspective.
It happens dramatically when I encounter the ocean. When I stand next to the vast expanse of water I not only see it, I hear it, smell it, and feel it. My breathing slows and I feel like I enter into the rhythm of the waves. As I experience the beauty and power of the waves, I also find myself drawing closer to God. Then my mind settles and I find peace. I inhabit the moment.
It can also happen in ordinary ways. The amazing thing is that I don’t have to drive to the ocean to draw close to God. I can focus on the tree outside our window or the wonder of my child’s hand across the room or the sky ever changing before me. Artists and philosophers have referred to this as the power of “un-selfing”. This simple act of paying attention to something right in front of me allows me to open up to the present moment. It draws me outside myself and invites me to delight in the blessings present all around me.
This simple act of paying attention to something right in front of me allows me to open up to the present moment. It draws me outside myself and invites me to delight in the blessings present all around me.
When we find the courage to be in the now, the pains and “should haves” of the past and the “what ifs” of the future no longer hold us hostage. When we inhabit the moment we are able to discern what is important now so we can be at peace and deal with whatever is given to us today.
When we inhabit the moment we are able to discern what is important now so we can be at peace and deal with whatever is given to us today.
“Give your attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Matt 6:34, MSG
* From On Waking by John O’ Donohue