“Be here now. Be someplace else later.” – David Bader
In continuing with the theme to live in the present moment this holiday season, I was again reminded of the need to follow David Bader’s quote to be where I am in the moment and not think about something else or somewhere else. Sunday morning, I was getting all of the holiday decorations out and planning to decorate the tree and house. In the back of my mind crept the thought that I needed to be at a concert in a few hours and so I needed to hurry to get everything done in time to clean up and get ready for the concert. So, I started to rush and all of a sudden I realized I wasn’t enjoying decorating for Christmas. I know that awareness is the key, so I brought my attention back to the present moment and my purpose. I made a conscious choice to be decorating in my living room now and I would be at the concert later in the day. I wanted to enjoy the process of decorating the tree. So, I unwrapped each decoration with love and excitement as the memories rushed back of when I received the ornament and from whom. I untangled the lights with patience (that really works better than frustration) and I was in awe as they glimmered on the tree. I danced to the Christmas music and even at one point danced with the broom after I swept the pine needles off the floor. I went slow, paused between each action, and really savored each moment. Decorating the tree was so much more joyful when I was living in the present instead of thinking about a future activity. And, as always happens, when I live in the present moment and am not worried about the future there was plenty of time. I got everything decorated without rushing and enjoyed the concert even more because I came from a place of peace because I hadn’t rushed.
My friend, Angela Bell Julien, has a new book out called Trees Don't Rush. She is a talented artist and gifted author that reminds us that time is everywhere and we should take our cues from nature; she states, “Nature doesn't hurry; it takes the time necessary to sculpt the greatest canyons and to bloom the most fragile blossom, and the world waits.” I will apply this philosophy of not rushing with all of my holiday activities. Angie has a book signing this Saturday, December 17th in Tucson at the Foothills Mall Barnes and Noble from 1:00-3:00 PM. Her signed book would be a great present.
Wrapping presents is not one of my favorite things to do. I think it has to do with the fact that as part of a Girl Scout opportunity in high school, I volunteered at Sears and I had to wrap all of the fake presents that went under the trees in the store. Hours upon hours of wrapping empty boxes dampened my wrapping spirit. However, this year, when I wrapped the presents, I just wrapped the presents and I wasn't thinking about anything else. Wrapping presents wasn’t a thing to get checked off my to do list, but I enjoyed selecting the wrapping paper, curling the ribbons and I sent love to the recipients of the gifts; I enjoyed wrapping presents this year more than I ever have in the past.
My holiday mantra for each task is
I vow to be here now and someplace else later in my body and mind.
Do you ever find yourself thinking or worrying about something else when you are in the middle of your holiday preparations?
If yes, how can you avoid rushing and live in the present moment?
Peggy Steffens is an artist and Chopra Certified Meditation Instructor
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