Updated: Nov 8, 2022
When you're starting a new business, when you are expanding your business, or even when you're just having a lot of changes in your business, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming.
The past few days I've been feeling in a constant mode of "Hurry up and get this done so you can get to the next thing…so you can get to the next thing….so you can get to the next thing."
Life's feels like "How can I complete what I'm doing right now the quickest so that I can get to the next thing so that SOMEDAY I'll get to the end of my To Do List?" Anyone else feel that way?
And in thinking about that early this morning, I was reminded of how many times that I tell myself to "be in the present" in my personal life. I am no where near great at it in my personal life but at least, I remind myself more often in my personal life.
To live in the present moment because the present moment really is all we have. There's no need to regret yesterday. And no need to worry about tomorrow. ~Holley Jacobs
I have been studying, reading, and learning a lot about mindfulness for the past year and a half. One definition of mindfulness is:
maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. ~ Greater Good
Being in the present moment is one of the practices I've been working with. Living and being aware in the present is one of the most difficult mindfulness practices for me. But when I can focus and am successful at this mindfulness strategy is when I find that I am feeling most at peace. And the more I practice living and enjoying the present in my personal life, the better I become at dealing with stress, the more I can focus, and the quicker I can problem solve. Jon Kabat-Zinn succinctly summarizes mindfulness and living in the present in this quick 2-minute video.
And yet for some reason I haven't attempted to try and be more mindfully in the present with my business tasks the past few days. As I sit at my computer this morning working on some design work, which is one of my favorite things to do, my mind started wandering about all the other things I needed to get done today.
I think this mindfulness technique is difficult because it's such a challenge to live in the present, to "be in the present" and to just ENJOY the current process when our everyday lives seem to move so fast. I envision one of those time-lapse videos where you watch a day evolve overlooking a big city like the one below. You watch the sun come up and the day moves quickly by people and vehicles moving at record pace or the ever-changing lights in all the buildings when the night comes. Life often feels a lot like this for me. I am sure some of you have similar experiences.
I always have my music playing in the background while I work and "Authority Song" by John Mellencamp began to play which is one of my favorite Mellencamp songs. (Check it out after you finish reading this post). So I cranked it up and I SANG LOUD, and I began to feel my mood lighten and I was full of drive and happiness. Endorphins were being released from my brain and pure joy and peace fell over me. I saw my dog, Freedom, from the corner of my eye staring at me like I was "bothering" him by singing so loudly and I chuckled. I realized that I WAS "living in the moment" right then.
Endorphins were being released from my brain and pure joy and peace fell over me. I saw my dog, Freedom, from the corner of my eye staring at me like I was "bothering" him by singing so loud and I chuckled. I realized that I WAS "living in the moment" right then.
At that same moment, I look at my computer screen and I thought to myself:
"Holley, you are designing, you're doing one of your favorite things. You're doing one of your passions. So why is it that all you could think about was the next task that you need to get done AND the next one after that, and everything that you need to be finished with by the end of this day?" (Yes, I talk to myself. Doesn't everyone?)
And as soon as I said that out loud, I focused on my breathing. I accepted that it was highly probable that I would not get to the end of my To Do list today. I immediately began intensely enjoying my work, appreciating that I am able to be pursuing my professional goals, reveled in my current work process, and found great satisfaction in "living in the present".
That's just my thought for the day. Do you live in the present? Or do you allow the stress of everyday life get the better of you? I would love to know. Leave your thoughts below.