Is there any better time than the present?
It is a quiet fall morning, and the sun is rising. Its rays create a magnificent shadow on the kitchen floor. I smile because it’s Monday, and I get to begin another beautiful day. As water percolates my coffee, I open the front door to pick up the newspaper that still smells of fresh ink, having been printed just a few hours before delivery. I go back into the kitchen and pour some milk into my cup, turning my dark brew a golden hue. My toast gives off a comforting aroma that embraces the house with a sweet morning kiss. I turn on the radio to create some ambiance and sit down to eat. With each bite, the sound of crunching reverberates in my ear. The taste of the jam on my taste buds reminds me of my childhood, when my grandmother and I would go strawberry picking every year. I remember those times and relive them with each mouthful.
After breakfast, I set my plate in the sink and head toward the shower. The time flies but I continue to smile as I hum the melody of the last song I heard on the radio—a lilting, invigorating waltz by Chopin. I sway with each of his vibrating piano notes. As I step out of the shower, I wipe condensation off the mirror and use my index finger to draw whatever comes to mind. I draw a house, a little dog and a flower to complement my reflection this morning, and to give my inner child a chance to express herself, despite my graying hair. I gently apply some natural cream to my face to rejuvenate my wrinkles, mementos of my past joys. A flowery fragrance fills the air, which makes me feel like I'm walking in a gorgeous field of lavender, whose mauve blossoms blanket the horizon as far as the eye can see.
When I’m ready, I make sure to pick up my phone and my bag, and I glance over my shoulder one more time before closing the house door. I turn the key in the lock, ready to go to the office, happy to have experienced this special moment and hoping that life will give me the chance to turn the key in the other direction when I return to my sanctuary this evening.
Relieve stress and anxiety, and enjoy the present moment.
We often read articles that sing the praises of this or that “approach to truly living in the present." While seizing a moment in time is not always easy, just being mindful of the here and now is enough. Here are my five easy tips on how to make the most of the present, and escape the frenzy of daily life for a few moments :
1. Be grateful. Everything depends on how you perceive your actions and reactions. For instance, when you wash dishes, sing, dance, and breathe in the pleasant scent of the dish soap suds on your hands. Each and every action you take has the potential to become your greatest joy rather than a moment of suffering.
2. Be mindful. When you walk, be aware of each step and the weightlessness of your feet on the ground. Slow down and feel your knees make each movement in coordination with your thigh muscles, taking you wherever you want to go.
3. Do not be afraid to feel alive. When we live in the past or the future, we don't feel the full force of life, its emotions and all its blessings. Sometimes there is an incredible opportunity for release in our suffering, but we aren’t willing to accept it. We long to free ourselves from it without pain, but we don’t take the time to stop and sense its potential benefits. Sit down, breathe, and feel your emotions. Laugh nervously if you want. You can even yell or cry. But accept what you feel in the here and now. It will transform you.
4. Enjoy simple pleasures. When you’re alone, sit and listen to one of your favourite songs. Take turns tapping your hands and your feet to the beat. Feel your movements and the accompanying sensations. You will realize that it is really difficult to do all of this in a coordinated way, without letting your thoughts take over. With a little patience, you will find this experience enjoyable, once your endless flow of thoughts has stopped.
5. Discover the benefits of meditation. Whether you're in your car or in an elevator or have two minutes to yourself while the kids are playing, take some time to breathe. You don’t have to light candles and put on music. Just sit or lie in a comfortable position, and take deep breaths with the intention of showering your inner self with love and compassion. After all, no one is perfect; we all make mistakes at some point. Forgive yourself and make the most of the moment, because it is marvelous and yours alone to enjoy.
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