August 21, 2021: Making Moments Matter
“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”– Omar Khayyam
Over the past few weeks, the news media has again been filled with anxiety inducing events. A seemingly endless stream of catastrophes, the resurging pandemic and heartbreaking stories seem to scroll through the headlines; shouting out “warning, warning, life is too dangerous and frightening”. When we focus on worries about the future, we can get drawn into a miasma of despair, forgetting about all the things that are beautiful or wondrous in our lives. Fear for the future can block our appreciation for the present, unless we make a conscious choice to be more actively aware of the here and now.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.“– Rumi
Each day we have choices to make, from simple, insignificant ones like what to wear, to complex ones regarding our health, relationships or work. But each choice has a direct impact, even the smallest ones, which influence the pathways of our life. Being fully aware of the choices, means making decisions on how and what we focus our attention on. In our modern world, it is a common occurrence to hear the refrain of “how busy we are”, overloaded with seemingly endless ‘to-do ‘lists. To complicate matters, distractions can be a click away, driving us down an endless stream of rabbit holes provided by easy access to the internet. Our own dreams can be sabotaged by choosing activities that direct us away from the steps we need to bring them to fruition.
This past week, I made several choices. The first one, was to significanlty limit my amount of screen time, scrolling for the latest “news”. Every doomsday headline leaves me with feelings of helplessness and sadness for the world. Up here in the northern woods of Maine, I am surrounded by beauty which imparts a sense of wonder. There are so many lessons from Mother Nature just waiting to be explored. Even in the city, nature offers precious opportunities for discovery. When opening our senses to the gifts of nature, we become fully present and our worries about the future fade away. Choosing to spend more time, away from technology and in nature, being fully aware of our surroundings, can channel our attention in more positive, productive ways. Rising earlier in the day to watch the sunrise, admiring the flowers blooming in a neighbor’s window box, listening to the chorus of songbirds, each of these actions offers respite from the overwhelming discord presented by a cacophony of noise from the media. I recognize I can’t change the world or the terrible things that can happen, but I can share my appreciation and gratitude for these natural wonders through art, photography and writing. Instead of helplessness, I find a sense of purpose and hope.
“Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment.”Akiroq Brost
The second choice I made this week, was to be more mindful on how I spent “free time”. It’s too easy to get sidetracked with endless distractions, many which can be self-made. So Instead of getting lost in playing games on an IPAD, I brought out my watercolors. Due to a laundry list of excuses, I hadn’t painted in almost a year. The dream of developing my skills as an artist had gotten lost in choices which took me in other directions. Yet once I determined and committed to the desired intention, I brought out the paints and made time by prioritizing what was truly important. Painting requires attention, focus and practice. Watercolors, in particular, require full concentration on how the paints interact with each other, the order to place them or even the way of how they flow onto the paper. When fully engaged in the process of painting, the outside world, with all of its complexities faded away. Instead of several hours wasted on mindless games, I rediscovered the joy of painting and gained satisfaction for a completed piece of work.
“Always hold fast to the present. Every situation, indeed every moment, is of infinite value, for it is the representative of a whole eternity.”— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Whatever choices we make, we should remind ourselves that every moment does matter. We might not be able to change the big picture of the world, but we can impact the landscape of our own lives. What moments bring you happiness, personal satisfaction and/or peace? What choices can you make to have every moment matter?
As always, thank you for taking the time to read our blog. We welcome your thoughts and inspirational quotes that inspire you. Please feel free to share this with someone who might find it meaningful. In the meantime, stay healthy and safe.
QUOTES TO INSPIRE:
“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.”Mother Teresa
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”Buddha
“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.“— Masaru Emoto
“Sometimes, it’s the same moments that take your breath away that breathe purpose and love back into your life.”– Steve Maraboli
“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”― Eckhart Tolle,
August 28, 2021
You continue to come up with wonderful quotes and your blog does a great job of interpreting them for us to consider and enjoy. Keep them coming. I look forward to reading them.
August 30, 2021
Thank you once again Rita for your greatly appreciated support!