I stumbled on this lovely graphic while browsing Pinterest the other day. Ok, that’s not 100% true. I saw a twitter post saying something about being present every day; then I searched ‘BE PRESENT’ on Pinterest. But for the sake of this post, yes, I “stumbled” on this graphic. Of all the other graphics and sayings that could be found, this one resonated with me the most. Not just because it was one of the first that I saw, but because it wasn’t pushing being outgoing, or an extrovert. It wasn’t praising traits that people often mistake for virtues rather than just attributes of a certain personality type. It’s simple, to the point, and insightful. It is all encompassing. It is enough.
I spend easily 80-90% of my day worrying about things that I have no control over. Worrying about things that happened over the weekend, two weeks ago, a month ago. Worrying about things that might happen tomorrow, someday… never. Perhaps worrying isn’t the correct term. Perhaps this is anxiety, fear or regret. Regardless, doing this doesn’t help me. It doesn’t have any bearing on the here and now. If anything, it distracts from the now. If anything, it is the reason why I am seldom ever 100% present in any moment as I’m living it.
It’s an uphill battle to change your programming. We learn behaviors in childhood that stick, that as adults, are defiantly difficult to break. For me, worrying and anxiety are a boxed set and come all too naturally. There are certain aspects of my personality that will never change, that are intrinsically ingrained and hard-coded in my DNA. I’m never going to be an extrovert. I’m never going to love social situations or be the best conversationalist in the world. But there are things that I can work on.
Anxiety and worry doesn’t have to be part of what defines me. Learning and embracing mindfulness isn’t something that will happen overnight, I’m sure, but in the long run will help me become a much happier and at peace person.
In our generation of technology, it’s far too easy to become disconnected with the now and the world around us. We are constantly connected to our phones, tablets, or computers, but rarely ever connected to each other. I am just as guilty as any other for checking my phone far too frequently and being ‘logged on’ more than I ever need be. It’s an isolation tactic. I can keep in touch via texting, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even Pinterest without ever having any real contact people.
This especially comes in handy for me as I much prefer to be alone than surrounded by people which generally tends to give me social anxiety. I enjoy my space and all the technology and gadgets are amazing enablers. I have little reason to step outside of my bubble and have a deep and earnest conversation. The irony isn’t lost on me either. Though this blog may be an attempt to connect to the outside world, it is also a disconnect, but hopefully will do more good than bad.
I may have digressed a bit from my original point but hopefully it comes full circle. Life is too short to not be present for it; I know that now more than ever.
“The present moment is the only moment available to us, and it is the door to all moments.” – Thich Nhat Hanh