CC Image Courtesy of Kelley Bozarth
Many of us exist in a tornado of emotions, living with past regrets, worrying about tomorrow, and wishing time away waiting for the next moment to bring us more joy. But, we can quiet this storm, slow down to embrace the moment and experience life to the fullest. The way it was meant to be.
My favorite quote by Eleanor Roosevelt states, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift; that’s why they call it the present.” These are inspiring words to live by but what is their significance and how can we apply them to our life journey?
Let’s begin with her first observation, “Yesterday is history…” Many of us spend our lives living with regrets or guilt from yesterday. We experience constant strife and conflicted emotion about things we cannot change, situations that are now out of our control. We must understand that yesterday happened perfectly, good or bad, to teach us something significant, to further our growth, or to test our strength. Let’s find the lessons in our past and make a commitment to grow, releasing any regret or guilt, and instead embracing the power of knowledge as we move forward.
“Tomorrow is a mystery…” It lies in a sea of puzzling questions. Let’s not squander energy with worry or fear placed on situations we have yet to encounter. These wasteful emotions can put us in a place of pessimistic anticipation and will often cause negative results. If we look ahead we must do so with enthusiasm and innocence, alertness and curiosity understanding that we are in the driver seat and can go wherever we choose within the experience. Let’s permit the journey to unfold and not cross the bridge twice. We can cross over once when we must and enjoy the view as we go.
Eleanor’s final words, “…today is a gift; that’s why they call it the present,” have unbelievable power. I challenge you to spend one day focused on the present. This is an enormous challenge as society has conditioned us to live in the past and future. But, throughout your day take moments to stop what you are doing and notice everything surrounding you with a sense of wonder. Enjoy a meal by yourself without turning on the T.V. or being distracted. Be aware of the flavors and feel textures. Have conversations without being diverted by what you see or other thoughts, but instead completely and fully experience the person you are with. See the world around you and sit in quiet admiration observing the individual leaves on the trees, the aroma of the flowers, or the warmth of the sunshine. Focus completely on the present and you will evoke a whole new sensation within the moment.
The present is only here for a flash in time. Embrace it, release past regrets and future fear, stay focused on the present beauty and align your senses with all there is right here, right now. After all, you are opening a precious gift.