What a difference a day makes.
That beautiful song (especially when the lyrics are savored sensuously by Dinah Washington), refers to full day — a 24 hour cycle. Until several years ago, I lived my life very much projected into the future, or else musing heavily on the past. Thinking about a single day just wasn’t in my wheelhouse. As a perennial planner (something I spoke about in a TEDx talk a few years ago) the idea of being in the moment, being in the now was, well … not.
The thing is, when one is focused too heavily on future-tripping or conversely is mired in musings of the past, there’s a correlated effect. I mean, what about those days that slip off the rails, either because something transpires or perhaps you just got out on the wrong side of the bed? I don’t know about you, but I know that in those cases, I slam those blinders on and charge full bore forward in an attempt to right the ship. (Ooops … sorry for mixing my railway, horse-riding and seafaring metaphors.) The point, is that focus on past or future engenders an inappropriate focus of energy. I forget entirely about the present moment as I spin cycles trying to get things re-booted. Then, I try to fix. I sink my teeth in, Jack Russell Terrier-style, and attempt shaking it into submission. I may get a result … but not generally the result that I seek. Rather than making things better, often such behavior makes things worse.
Then I found out the secret to getting things sorted. Stop trying to sort them. Instead of whirring wheels in an attempt to fix, cajole, manipulate or regroup, just stop. Literally. Take a moment and get present, really present. This can mean a brief interlude for 5 deep breaths. It can be a more focused and intense meditation. It can be a walk. It can be a trip to the gym. It can be turning my attention from a persnickety knot I cannot unravel and turning my attention to some banal, low-hanging fruit of a to-do item, something I can complete and cross off a list. Whatever the case, it’s not be wrestling something into submission that I foster change. It’s by stepping back, regrouping and then stepping forward again.
The Twins are taking more steps forward in their evolution and at this point every day I see their shaggy heads greeting me when I open the door, I consider a gift. At sunrise today they were dusted with gleaming diamonds of dew, sparkling in the early morning sun. By day’s end the glow had dried and their shade an ever-so-slightly darker blush. Is the deepening shade a sign they are saying goodbye? I don’t know … but I guess I’ll see what difference the next day brings.
(#GraciousGratitude list below the Twins’ pictures)
- Having a moment of FOMO and then laughing about it
- Getting to connect directly with a friend who is a touchstone and soul sister and share something that’s going on, and feeling a sense of deep comfort and safety just by hearing her voice
- Being faced with someone’s anger and frustration, not taking it personally and responding with compassion
- How my house smells when I bake a sweet potato
- Eating that baked sweet potato (after liberally dousing it with cinnamon)
- Starting and ending my day with meditation
- When lessons from a dream snap into crystalline clarity during my meditation and I’m able to capture the thoughts on paper
- Sitting in my favorite chair and reading a book while drinking a cup of tea