How to Really Live In the Moment and Appreciate Life

“There are only two ways to live your life. It is like nothing is possible. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~Albert Einstein 

Just when you think you have the whole living in the moment thing down, a four-year-old comes along and shows you how it’s done.

I’ve been working hard on this, actually, keeping a gratitude journal and everything. When I got back to feeling good yesterday, I took my 4-year-old son on a walk instead of trying to race through my to-do lists.

“I’m going to be totally present,” I reminded myself as we headed out. As I walked out, I stopped and took a deep inhale.

Like I stated, I was proud of my achievements. Then my daughter blew me away. She schooled me in everything I have been working so hard on, and she wasn’t even trying.

The walk was described by her commentary exactly as follows:

Ohhhh, this is a beautiful house.

This garbage can is amazing!

What a beautiful tree.

Take a look at these rocks

Ich hör ein Vogel!

It sounds like a wind chime.

Do you think that Mom heard the dog barking? It’s perfect!

A truck is rumbling in my ear!

Can you feel the breeze? It’s so gentle!

The beautiful cactus is stunning.

Take a look! There are two trucks. 

Her amazement was beyond my comprehension. 

Now, I wasn’t completely unaware. This was another day of spring before the heat and it was wonderful to be able to spend this time one-on-1 with my wife.

However, I didn’t know that my neighbors were using wind chimes. A garbage can has never been something I thought was amazing to me, at least not since my childhood. The perfect dog I have is also the one that I complain to my husband about. Wind was causing havoc in my hair.

While I was distracted by at least 1,000 other issues, she was happy to just watch the ants on the street.

Sometimes, I wish that I was more like her.

She didn’t care if I sent out that attachment with that email. She didn’t care about how many calories we burned on our walk. She didn’t mind that her clothes didn’t match because she picked out exactly what she likes.

This was something I didn’t want to lose.

“Be amazed,” I thought.

The way that you repeat a number to yourself is the same as when you repeat it to your phone.

“Be amazed,” I scrawled as fast as I could on the first piece of paper I found when we got home.

You will be amazed.

In my calendar, I created a reminder. A post-it was made. It was written in my journal.

You will be amazed.

I don’t want to forget this feeling. This is absolute clarity.

My mind can be the most hardened criminal against my own happiness. It takes my joy away. It confuses important with busy, urgent with significant and difficult with meaning.   

My brain gives too much time to the past and future. The mind wanders to the activities of my neighbors. It helps me remember what I’ve yet to achieve. It desires to speed up the time. And it does so by accelerating through moments of amazement.

It was also a time of sadness. It broke my heart to think of the missed opportunities to simply be and enjoy.

I guess that’s the bittersweet part of life. You can’t wait until this one tough part is over, but then it’s Go and you can’t go back There’s a new stage to take its place, and the cycle continues.

Soon, you find yourself telling wide-eyed new parents and self-conscious teenagers (and basically anyone in one of those stages that you wanted to rush through when you were there) that these are the best years.

“Enjoy this while you can. It goes so fast,” you say.

You will be amazed.

It turns out that the moments I once thought would go by fast turned out to have been the most difficult to let go of. This could be something I resentful of myself or it could make me feel amazed.

Time moves on in its own way. You get another chance at being amazed.

Every stage offers another opportunity to show kindness to yourself. It isn’t humanly possible to love every second of life while it’s happening. Even four-year-olds aren’t amazed AllThe time.

My four-year old son and I took a walk together. It reminded us that the simple things can be amazing. They’re life, and they’re doable. Sure, life now is different from life pre-kids (and pre-husband), I’m doing different things than my friends, and maybe my life doesn’t measure up to someone else’s definition of amazing.

What are you waiting for?

I am still amazed.

You will be amazed.

Starting now, these two words will be a compass guiding me when it feels like I don’t have it all together. They will remind me what direction I want to go even when I feel completely lost.

You will be amazed. Refrain from looking at your daily life in dismay.  

You will be amazed. Grab every bit of goodness from the world around you. Savor it. It is worth it. Relax in it.

Surprising is the best way to express your amazement. When you’re burned out, bone weary, and bedraggled, use amazement to fill yourself back up. Look for people, places, or activities that make you feel amazed.

And the painful parts? Those parts that hurt really badly. The ones you barely survive. Maybe there’s a little room for amazement there, too.

It’s amazing when you get to the other side.

It is amazing how big the heart can hold.

It is amazing to see your strength, ability to heal and the capacity to love and hope.

You will be amazed at your spirit. Your tenacity. You will be amazed at the part of yourself that won’t give up.

You only get one shot at life, and you don’t have a whole lot of control over what happens to you in it. You have many choices.

It is my choice to be amazed.

About Leslie Ralph

Leslie, a psychologist, writer and artist is on a mission making the world a more beautiful place. People who are looking to love and have unconditional self-love, as well as bring back the light in their lives, can find her work. She’s the author of How to Have Your Back: Simple Instructions for Loving Yourself Through the Ups and Downs of LifeHer free ritual can be downloaded to help you let go, receive, and allow for greater clarity, courage, compassion, and balance in your daily life.

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Tiny Buddha published the post How To Really Live in The Moment And Appreciate Life.

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