We only have moments to live
I was reminded of the great Jon Kabat-Zinn quote “You Only Have Moments to Live” at a IECL Mindfulness for Leaders breakfast last week. This is the title of the very first chapter in his book, ‘Full Catastrophe Living’ which is on my maternity leave reading list after being highly recommended. What resonates with me from this quote is that we live life as a series of moments and being present and awake in as many of them as possible helps to live a life well lived.
I’ve just returned from a fantastic Girls weekend away which involved lots of in the moment laughing, walking, dancing and human connectivity. I had a walk along the beach outside our apartment this morning and found a spot at the edge by some rocks. I stood there feet grounded to the earth feeling the wind and ocean spray on my body, a real moment of feeling alive. I got back this afternoon and a canvas quote on our wall has never seemed so potent.
“Happiness is not a destination. It’s a way of life. Love what you have. THINK BIG. DREAM BIG. Live life, laugh lots, love forever. SMILE. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Love what you do. Do what you love.”
My aunty Julie recently started the Jon Kabat-Zinn developed Mindfulness Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) that I went through last year. I asked her if I could share this ancedote which really captured being in the moment for me. She said last week when she was going on a walk she became memorised for about 5 minutes with a bee collecting pollen from a beautiful flower. She said having been on that walk many times before she had never even noticed the f***ing tree before! It was an Ab Fab style wonderful ‘aha’ moment of clarity! She then went on to share how she has since been noticing the sounds of the birds more and other elements of natural wonder. This is a process I went through myself and it is wonderful to she her going through the same and reconnecting with nature, stepping out of autopilot which we can all easily fall into.
Are you making the most of your moments by not constantly rehashing the past or rehearsing the future?
I know personally at one time I used to spend a lot of the time in the past, analysing things or worrying about them. Letting this go and being in each moment is a much more liberating, content way to be. Thoughts of course trickle in every now and then of perhaps a past regret but once you realise it’s just a thought and not a reality you can choose to not react to it and get into a spiral of negativity. I’ve also had the other extreme of being too focused on the future. When I was training for an Ironman early last year my head was constantly in my next session and I seemed to be always in a rush to get to places. Slowing down has enabled me to be more present with those I’m with and enjoy each moment more rather than always jumping to the next. Through mindfulness practice and learning how to manage ourselves we can then make the most of more moments in time and be present for others making them more enjoyable for all.
Would love to hear any of your own reflections.