Sunday, April 30, 2017

Be Here Now


A friend of mine is a therapist,
and one of her colleagues, who has been a therapist for many years,
told her that so many problems could be overcome if we would all learn to "be here now."
He spoke of the mental challenges that take place when we live in the past or live in the future.
There is a type of therapy that helps some clients with anxiety where they tune into all of their senses and focus on what they are currently feeling, seeing, hearing, etc. Although I don't mean to promote the technique as a cure-all, focusing on the present certainly has its advantages.

I've thought a lot about this concept since she told me about the conversation.

Be here now.

It's hard, as a mom.
I never thought four kids sounded like that many (I mean, Sam and I have dreamt from the beginning of having 6-10!), but goodness, there is a lot to keep track of!
I've noticed that I am often so preoccupied.
The boys tell me a story about various heroes and the defeat of a villain and they are contented with an occasional "mm-hmm," and "Wow!" while my mind is elsewhere, tuning them out and thinking about what else I need to do.
I am so focused on accomplishing the task at hand sometimes that I forget to enjoy the process.
Lately, as we've been considering our future options more seriously,
my mind has been drawn to our hypothetical plans and scenarios to the point that it has become a bit of an obsession.
As a result, I sometimes forget to open my eyes wide and fully soak in the magic that is taking place right now.

Yesterday I went to a lovely women's conference that reminded me to be a joyful mother--
to consciously smile and to be a little less task-oriented and more process-oriented.
Today Wesley whispered into my ear at Church, asking if I could set down the notebooks in my lap so he could lay his head in my lap.
I stroked his head as he lay there, looking up at me with a contented smile on his face.
I fully took in his big, blue eyes and his long, dark lashes,
his constantly rosy cheeks,
and the gentle sprinkling of freckles that is beginning to crop up.
I felt joy in that moment.

I grabbed Lincoln's hand on our way home from Church and together we skipped down the sidewalk--
Never mind the fact that I was in heels and probably looked silly...
I felt joy in that moment.

I listened to Talmage pray fervently over something that has been concerning him
and then saw his prayer answered.
I watched him open the hymnbook at Church and sing the hymns loudly in Sacrament Meeting
while helping Wesley follow the words as well.
I felt joy in those moments.

I watched Maxwell as he found a glue-stick on the floor--a remnant of his brothers' creating--
and then stood next to a #10 can of dry beans, beating on it enthusiastically with the glue stick
while throwing glances over his shoulder at me periodically.
I felt joy in that moment.

And I felt my husband's comforting presence
as he walked up behind me in the kitchen, wrapped his arms around me, drew me close,
and told me that he loves me.
I felt joy in that moment.

I am on a quest to stop myself from being preoccupied and to immerse myself in the experiences I am having now--to fully enjoy them and to not just go through the motions.
I want to listen attentively to my kids, no matter how long-winded the story.
I want to be less rushed and to hurry them along less often.
I want to experience the happiness of a child as I join them in their simple pleasures.

In short, I want to be here now.
Because "now" has so much goodness and joy to offer.

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