My inspiration for this blog came from a book I just happened to pick up the other day in a second hand book shop at the Hill of Tara.
It is called ‘Now is the Time’ by Sr Stanislaus Kennedy. Where she writes about appreciating the present moment and that life is for living. This book was written in 1998 nearly 20 years ago. It is relevant for any year as the name implies.
Throughout my life I have been mindful and have appreciated the present moment regularly, maybe more than many have appreciated it. The outdoors and nature especially would make me stop and look around in awe, coming from a farming background enforced this from a young age and seeing the life cycle of animals and nature on my door step. I have always viewed past difficulties in my life in a positive light, as something that has made me stronger and who I am as a person today.
As I started to have my children, I continued to remind myself to be there in the present moment with them growing up, well, although not every moment! As we know, parenting is about juggling many things at once, while being deprived of sleep and running around like a headless chicken.
But even with a positive attitude, everyone will experience bumps in the road called life. I am recalling a time when my husband and I bought our house in 2006 and spent the subsequent years in negative equity like most of our generation. With no choice to move. I started to hate the house, we had like many more only bought this as a starter home.
At this time I was living in the past, I was thinking about what we should have done, and if we bought another house, or if we didn’t buy this house, or if we just waited another year or if we just rented…. The list goes on. Every time I passed a house I liked or was in someone else’s house, my mind would start the conversation… why didn’t we? what if? and imagine if we…. Blah blah blah
I didn’t even realise my mind was having this conversation with myself until it started affecting me mentally and emotionally. It was consuming my everyday thought in a negative way. It was affecting my energy, motivation, it was swallowing up my positive self.
Thankfully with the support of good friends and family, who brought my awareness to my ‘I should haves’. Also the increased talk of positivity about the economy, I began to catch myself when I was in this thought pattern and replace it with thoughts of gratitude and of the present moment. Then eventually through awareness and repetition brought me back to a more present positive person.
I now realise that it was not the house really that I hated, I hated the fact that I had no choice in moving to another house, I felt stuck, no way out. I value freedom in my life and the freedom of choice. I may not have had the choice to move house at that time but I had the choice on how I reacted to the situation.
If you find yourself stuck in the past or pondering on the negatives. Take time right now and throughout your day to take a moment and choose to be grateful for THIS moment and all you have and hold dear to you in your life. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds, smell the air, think of what you have to be thankful for. You may for that moment feel like the luckiest person alive.
‘Mind Weeds’ is a Zen practice, which looks at weeds as positives and uses the analogy of laying weeds out to nourish the soil. In the same sense, utilise the negatives from your life to enrich you as they have made you stronger and made you who you are today. RATHER THAN WASTING TIME AND ENERGY HAVING REGRETS.