• The Present Moment

    You wish you could complete a sleep cycle but embedded in your dreams is the certain knowledge that she will be awake at any moment.
    You hear her cry and pull her in to the bed hoping she’ll mimic your still body and closed eyes. You know your attempts are futile though.
    You bundle her up and try to race out of the dark house to prevent waking up her siblings – more futility.
    You push her along the sidewalk and over bridges and start chatting to her like the baby books say to do, telling her about what you are seeing.
    But even though you only met her a few months ago, you know her and are aware that, like you, companionable silence is preferable to her at this time of day.

    This is it. The present moment. And you are there.

    Simple wonders of the world that have always been there unnoticed become a part of your day.
    The half moon sets over the hillside while the dawn breaks in the east and bathes the craggy peaks in rose as it always does.
    But today you think about how different your life was even just one week ago when you watched the full moon set another beautiful and sleepless morning.
    You remember how you felt excited and nervous about something this week and now today, you look back courageous and confident and nervous and excited about a new thing next week.
    You think about how, like the moon, you experience everything from new and empty to full and bright within a month and yet nothing about it has ever changed, just your vantage point.

    You arrive at the beach and think about how last time you were here you were pregnant – a solstice and a lifetime ago.
    You park the baby with the sun rising behind her over the Pacific Ocean and pull out your phone to take a picture.
    Your phone unexpectedly powers off, maybe due to the cold morning. You are momentarily upset you couldn’t capture the moment and then you realize that you are thankful.

    Because the moment you are experiencing cannot be captured with a shitty phone photo.

    The photo couldn’t capture the smell of woodburning fires in the salty sea air or the smell of your creamy new baby that forever fills your nostrils.

    The photo couldn’t capture the feel of nutrient dense food consumed with family and made with love during this holiday that fills your belly and soothes your nerves.

    The photo couldn’t capture the sound of the ocean waves and the happy gulls.

    The feeling cannot be summarized with a hashtag.

    You have all these thoughts and worry you won’t be able to remember them because of your “mommy brain,” a term you’ve always disliked because it implies a loss of intelligence, something that you have always prized.

    But you have come to realize that all that forgetfullness provides is amplification of the present moment and the rest of the world falls away in to the background. And you’re more than OK with that.

    You realize that a lack of sleep has brought you the gift of experiencing something you normally would have snoozed right through.

    She has drifted back to sleep in her stroller and so you gun for the coffee shop, eager to record your thoughts.

    Once again, you know in your heart that when the wheels stop and you step in to the warmth, she will wake up.

    So you sit down with your cappucino and a pen and as soon as you scribble the first word, she awakens and begins to stir and fuss.

    And so you write and you jiggle her on your knee and you burn your tongue as you drink quickly, thankful for another day to experience life and exercise your creativity. Because create you did.

  • Ask a Beautiful Question

    “Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.” ~e.e. cummings

    I thought Thanksgiving Day would be a perfect time to publish a post that provides tools we can use that allow us to be in a grateful and appreciative frame of mind.  Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up asking ourselves dreadful questions…the “What if (insert worst-case scenario)?” and “Why am I so (insert self-deprecating comment)?”  It goes to follow that if these are the kinds of things we are focusing our energy and attention on, and these are the situations we are worrying ourselves with, we will inevitably throw off negative and anxious energy.  By sending this energy out, we only end up attracting more of it.  This works in much the same way that we can only find a song to listen to on an FM station if we’re tuning it to a FM bandwidth that operates in that particular region.

    One book I really liked was Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within.  In the book he lists a number of “Empowering Questions” to ask yourself each morning.  I have found these are some lovely questions to put me in the right frame of mind each morning to go through my day focusing on the positive.  By doing so, it allows me to avoid asking myself harmful questions that can only bring a slew of potentially negative outcomes to consider that have yet to even occur.  I essentially think of this as a morning gratitude meditation.   I also use it any time I’m having a “woe is me” moment.  His questions are as follows:

    • What am I happy about in my life now?
    • What am I excited about in my life now?
    • What am I proud about in my life now?
    • What am I grateful about in my life now?
    • What am I committed to in my life right now?
    • Who do I love? Who loves me?

    Try asking yourself these questions in the shower or on your commute and see if you can get some beautiful answers.  I keep these questions in a list on the notes in my phone so that they are easily accessible when I get overwhelmed, feel unappreciated, or ungrateful for all of the blessings in my life.