On a long solo bike ride recently, I discovered a quiet, private little beach in the middle of the woods. It's amazing the things you uncover so close to home that you had no idea existed! I'm always looking for those simple and beautiful things in life to enjoy, because I know my soul needs it. It's the enjoyment of these little moments that accumulate into a basically happy life. Being present is one of the things I struggle with the most in my life and one of the things that hinders my happiness. I've always been such a goal-oriented and achievement-oriented person that I forget to enjoy the journey. I know that it is in my nature to never "slow down" at least not until I am very old and don't have a choice, so in the meantime, I know it will take a continuous conscious effort for me to love where I'm at and live in each present moment while I'm working to get where I want to be. I am so grateful for moments like this, finding this wonderful little spot on the Mississippi River, when I am able to take a breath, look around, and just remember how amazing life is. "You may only live once but if you work it right, once is enough." –Unknown
A strategy I like to use to put myself fully back into the present is to use my 5 senses. This is a form of mindfulness. I ask myself the following questions: What do I see? What do I hear? What do I smell? What do I taste? What do I feel (through physical touch, versus emotion). When we pay attention to what we are sensing and perceiving on a physiological level, we are forced to be present in a moment. This is applicable both in pleasant and unpleasant situations, but for the purposes of this blog topic, we will apply this to the pleasant experiences. Next time you find yourself in a positive and enjoyable environment, stop and pay attention to what you’re experiencing, and allow these pleasant sensations to be imprinted in your memory and body. Life is full of these moments, we just have to stop to notice them.
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