“What day is it?
It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
I remember years ago sitting in the bleachers at a fast pitch softball game and watching my daughter on the pitcher’s mound. As I cheered her on, my mind began to wander, “I wonder if I washed my other daughter’s golf shirt for her tournament tomorrow?” You see, I often struggled with enjoying the gift of today – I allowed my mind to skip ahead to things and tasks that belonged in the future.
One day during my quiet time, God spoke in my spirit that I was going to miss out on all the amazing things happening right in front of me if I didn’t make some changes in my life. He reminded me to practice being fully present in my days. Over the years I’ve learned ways to be more intentional about living in the moment. You may struggle with this too, so I want to share six of my favorite ways to practice living in the moment.
6 ways to practice living in the moment:
- Use your 5 senses. The other day I was locking my front door on the way to run errands and smelled the sweetest fragrance. I stopped and looked at the magnolia tree blooming nearby. I stood there and deeply inhaled the luscious smell as I noticed the shiny green leaves and felt the shade on my arms that warm afternoon. As I focused on some of my senses, I pushed pause as I dashed out the door. I allowed myself to truly take in the moment.
- Do at least one random act of kindness each day. Life moves at a fast pace and if I’m not careful I can spend my time running after it! So, each morning during my prayer time, I ask God to show me at least one person I can serve or “love on” that day. It doesn’t have to involve a lot of time or money…a warm smile or kind word goes a long way. Practicing kindness helps you share the gift of each day with others. These random acts of kindness will allow both you and the recipient to enjoy each day to the fullest!
- Create boundaries for technology. I love the convenience of my cell phone, ipad and laptop. These gadgets allow me to work from home, skype with family, friends and clients while keeping up with the latest weather forecast, breaking news and much more. But, if I’m not careful, I find myself too attached to my electronics. I can miss parts of my life because I’m actually looking down instead of up and out! Evaluate the role your electronics play in your life. Do this personally but also with your spouse or children, when applicable. Have a family meeting and allow each person to share the pros and cons of technology/internet and together come up with personal and family boundaries. Maybe you begin the rule, “every phone in the basket” during dinner. Or, your kids must turn off their phones at a certain time each night. Practice these boundaries as you appreciate the advancements in technology. Decide when to turn things off and be fully present!
- Connect with nature daily. If you know me well, you know I love sunsets! And I’m not talking about a quick glance at this nightly event and saying, “Oh, that’s pretty.” I mean, going outside, possibly pulling my car over and stopping, and fully appreciating one of God’s greatest creations (well, at least to me!). For some of you it may be getting your hands dirty as you garden and plant flowers or vegetables. Maybe you like to walk around your neighborhood or nearby park and take in the changing seasons. Find a way each day to be fully engaged with nature and all the beauty God has placed in your life.
- Build margin into your schedule. This allows you to be in the position to help or serve others when the unexpected happens. It also enables you to be spontaneous and join a friend for a movie or meal. We all have different seasons and circumstances and our schedules will reflect these differences. By building in unscheduled blocks of time in your day or week, you are allowing yourself the opportunity to enjoy the big and little things that just happen each day. Don’t miss them because you are overscheduled!
- Practice gratitude. Begin and/or end each day thanking God for ALL the many ways He has blessed you. I often suggest keeping a gratitude journal to my clients and friends as a way to record and look back at your days filled to the brim with blessings. The practice of gratitude is one of the best ways to enjoy and fully appreciate each day. For me, this simple act of writing or saying what I am grateful for allows me to celebrate each day!
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love the saying that each day is called the “present” because it’s our “gift”. I agree with the author of this quote and will continue to be intentional on living each day to the fullest! How about you? How are you intentionally enjoying the gift of each day?