Friday, January 02, 2015

Retro Prospective

This morning my son and I shared the last pot of Kona coffee from a package I saved since our Hawaii trip last Christmas. One year ago, on the day I bought this luscious coffee, I never would have imagined how differently life would unfold in 2014.

It was a year of saying goodbye to…
  • my 16 year old dog
  • my roommate of eight months
  • my son calling this his permanent residence
  • singleness
  • serving the unrealistic agendas of others
  • my tightly held grasp on specific outcomes
  • denial
It was a year of saying hello to...
  • a full night’s sleep, almost every night
  • what I truly wanted in a relationship
  • a completely empty nest
  • joy and peace and contentment and gratitude
  • listening
  • satisfaction
  • marriage
  • who I really want to be
  • forgiveness
  • acceptance
  • laughter
I realize, in looking at this list, that most of these things said hello to me before I received them as gifts. And most have come within the context of relationship: with my new husband, with friends, with family, with the Lord.

None of these hellos or goodbyes were actually easy. I pondered long and hard about many, wrestled furiously (and repeatedly) with a few, some were forced on me, but most I had to choose. With intention, determination and/or surrender.

Few of these are a once-for-all, one-time event. Some take repetition, reminders, remembering that I’ve made the agreement to say yes or no. A few must be affirmed each morning, each evening.

We look at decluttering our homes. We understand getting rid of old habits. We think less often about decluttering our thinking and behavior or welcoming new scenarios and accepting joy without foreboding. It all shapes our lives into the most beautiful of realities: 

Living present in this moment, today.

Don’t make a future list of what needs to go away or come to your life. Promise yourself only one thing this year: be present. Speak it only to yourself. Promises spoken out loud trick the brain into thinking we've already accomplished what we've spoken and it releases the reward endorphin so we get the sense of accomplishment before the promise is actually fulfilled. Thus, we neglect to do the work necessary to actually keep our promise. Just whisper it to yourself: "Be present". In every moment, in every situation, in every joy, with every difficult person: be present, focused, attentive, fully engaged. Make this agreement with yourself. Honour yourself enough to keep your own solemn vow.

Release what you must.

Receive all that comes.

It’s the present.

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