This could be the last time I (write a blog post). No, no.....I'm not making any sort of announcements in that, but I suppose it is true. Just like any other activity, moment - it could be my last. The realization, in a very concrete sort of way, that life is fleeting and precious has hit me like a ton of bricks in the past, but what was different then is that the awakening was all rolled up in a heavy blanket of grief. The grief and sadness of losing a loved one. This is very much different. An intentional realization throughout the day that I am here, scrubbing the floor, tying my son's shoe, wiping away tears, stirring a pot of soup, reading a story, hugging, hiking........... The list goes on so long as we are alive. The idea of recognizing where I am in that moment, bringing my thought and presence to the very moment I am in. Letting go of the replay of a past event. Setting aside the planning, fretting, listing, of what is to come in the future, and for a few moments really being in this very time and place. Saying to myself "this could be the last time I _________" (fill in the blank), is awakening in many ways.
I have been working with the lovely, Thalia Brennan, who is a delightful woman, mama, and life coach! Thalia brought this exercise in mindfulness to me. At first I, of course, loved the idea but also thought that it sounded pretty simplistic and similar to other attempts of living intentionally that I was already working with, and it is. What is different about this for me, is that I actually remember to say this simple phrase to myself, and to let go of the past, the future, and really dive into the now.
Often, I feel like there isn't enough time for everything. Not even my own thoughts. Ever felt that way? Like there isn't even enough time, or quiet to really have a thought of your own that isn't interreupted. So I try to escape every now and then. My favorite is a moment alone to move, be out doors, feel the rhythm of my own feet hitting the trail. What tends to happen in these rare moments is that I somehow get into the economy mindset. I have to get as much bang for my buck, pack in as much mileage, sweat, and even thoughts as I possibly can. It becomes frantic thinking. Trying to think as much as I can, scheme, dream, create all the things I have been trying to have a full thought about all week long, a chance to finish all my thoughts on one hike.
Unfortunately, I finish the hike, albeit sweaty and sore, but not feeling that calm in my mind, not even knowing exactly what wonder, what beauty was around me along that trail. Saying to myself "this could be the last time I hike this trail" brings my awareness right to the moment at hand. I feel my arms swing and my feet hit the ground in a perfect rhythm, the cool ocean breeze on my cheek, the sun's warmth on my back, the salty sweat on my lips, the dust collecting on my shins, the birds calling to each other in the bright yellow patch of mustard, the pelican diving into the ocean, the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, the creek rolling over the rocks, my dog panting, my children marveling at nature, the sight of a butterfly darting past so quickly if I blinked I would miss it.
Really taking in this moment.......clickety-clackety on the key board, warm tea in hand, bright light overhead, hard wood chair putting my tush to sleep, the hum of my computer and the yawning of the dog behind me, the quiet of every other human in the house already asleep.....thoughts of friends both old and new reading this post in the morning.
Wishing you a wonderful day, a day with a mindful moment or two.