I’ve always loved those few weeks before Thanksgiving. Making lists, testing new recipes, imagining that crisp, fall day with unhurried family time.
My mind is often very busy in the weeks ahead envisioning the guests, the turkey and the annual stuffing cook-off with my husband. My secret ingredient usually wins - it’s hard to beat bacon.
Positive anticipation is a good place for your mind to wander. An upcoming date night, a new baby coming soon, the first snow day of winter – these are happy respite stops for our mind.
Unfortunately, our thoughts don’t lean to the positive as much as they should. Instead, we tend to obsess about the future with anxiety and fear.
Charles Spurgeon, the noted British minister, said:
“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths.”
It’s ironic that in times of worry, we miss the only instant that really matters – this one moment.
We sap our strength and our joy overthinking the future and then when it arrives, we miss it entirely because we’re already too busy fretting about yet another tomorrow.
Crazy really. The very thing we obsess about we then ignore.
The more I learn about mindfulness – the ability to be in this moment - the more convinced I am of the benefit.
I try to remind myself that in this singular moment, all is well – because it usually is.
Jon Kabat-Zinn is the leading expert on mindfulness having studied and taught the principles extensively at his Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He says:
“It’s not a matter of letting go – you would if you could. Instead of “Let it go.” we should probably say “Let it be.”
That’s such good advice from Kabat-Zinn and The Beatles, too.
I’m going to suggest that to my husband next week when I win the stuffing cook-off yet again.
Let it be, Dear. Just let it be.
Until next week, I hope your life is full of joy and gratitude and very little worry,
Linda Sterling Sease is a professional speaker, career coach & writer on the power of joy to transform companies, homes and communities. To explore how Linda can work with your organization, call 303-319-5829 or email her at Linda at SterlingSease.com.