In one of my meditations last year, the concept of “the last time” was introduced to me and has really been one of those ideas that stuck. There will be a last time you do something and you don’t always know it. For example…there was a last time that I:
· walked each of my daughters to school holding their little hand in mine
· said “I love you” to my father while seeing his sparkly blue eyes
· went snowboarding or rode a motorcycle
· walked into a large university classroom as a student
· played checkers with my Great Aunt Becky
The mystery of life however means that you never really know when exactly “the last time” will be happening in any given experience. As I just visited my 87 year old mom, I am asking myself has she experienced the last time she will fly on an airplane? The last time she’ll see come visit me in our home? Since she is nearing the end of her life, she is often spending time with new or old friends and realizing that there is a strong likelihood that it could be the last time she hears their voice or sees them in the dining room. So it is with all of us, really… time marches on and the uncertainty of our next moment or day or year is always with us. Then there are some experiences that could be your first and last time too…I took a hot air balloon ride over the dessert at sunrise this fall and while I enjoyed every second, I am not sure I will ever get to have this same experience again.
This is what led me to my word for 2023…CHERISH. Whose definition is this “To hold dear: feel or show affection for” AND “To cultivate with care” — I want to do more of this and less rushing and being too far ahead of the present moment. I want to hold dear whatever moments, people, places, feelings and experiences are in store for me. I want to keep asking myself this central question: “How can I be at ease with what is?” I want to give my mindful, focused energy on my work, my own self development and my relationships in such a way that I am holding it all as precious, since it is…
For me, this is easier said than done and the coach in me is already asking the tougher questions (and for those of you familiar with the Enneagram, I am a Type 7 — on steroids — “The Enthusiastic Visionary” and we are known for having multiple projects going on at the same time, being obsessed with the future and planning and dreaming and multi-tasking champions). So, the challenge of staying IN any given moment is not in my nature and does not come so easily. I am going to suggest to myself — and to anyone reading this if it is helpful — that these are some great, simple but powerful ways for all of us to stay more present in our moments of this year. I am keeping it as simple as the 3 shift moves I learned at a Conscious Living/Loving coach training @ Hendricks Institute. I invite all of us to add more of these elements into our day-day life so we can all cherish the moments, whether they be the last, first or somewhere in the middle…
We have all the science and data in the world to know that our breath has the power to give our neurology, brain, psychology and emotional state a powerful REBOOT and yet we are all likely forgetting to harness this power as often as we could. Breathing is free, it is always available and there are great apps, techniques and hacks for how to use our breath to ground us and keep us centered. Let’s all breathe deeper and with greater intention this yea. https://positivepsychology.com/deep-breathing-techniques-exercises/
I have been personally converted to experiencing the power of consistent movement since I was 20. It has changed my entire life by making a commitment to move my body in a meaningful way every day. I could talk about this for awhile…and might — this could be a book I am meant to write. For the purpose of this article, I am suggesting that simple moves can invite a shift in mood, perspective and approach. If you want to connect to a moment in a deeper way, tune into your body to see what it is telling you and ask what movements might feel good to honor your present state. This is an immediate pathway into presence — whether it is shifting from stand to sitting, legs up the wall, shaking out your arms with some gusto, or taking a walk or a stretch…movement can help you clear out the cobwebs, get your blood and heart pumping and elevate your mood. I am personally committing to more “1 minute dance parties” this year — even and maybe especially when I am alone and I need to “shake it out”. I am also doing a 30 day Yoga Challenge with Adrienne with my daughter. Check it out! Free! https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene
Yep — gratitude — that always-accessible question that begs to be asked “How can I appreciate THIS — even if it is challenging — what is there for me to learn and how could I grow?” And compassion — how can I love myself in this, another, or even the situation. What would it look like to have deeper compassion for myself in this moment?
I am going to personally post these 3 shift moves somewhere I can see them as a reminder. Maybe this is the year that you schedule a session with me or any other coach to learn your patterns of thought, behavior and emotion by uncovering your Enneagram type https://www.syddaviscoaching.com/enneagram.
Perhaps you practice my favorite move of all — which combines all 3 of these shift moves into one — named after my dear Southern grandmother I lovingly call it “ The Mamama”. In any challenging moment, put both hands onto your heart or the heart of another you want to love, take a deep breath in and say these simple words (southern accent optional) “Bless It Bless It, Hon” — Wherever this year takes you and whatever “last moments” you might have ahead, I hope these suggestions help you find more peace and acceptance.