Fill in the blank. “I’ll be happy when……” the list usually looks something like this; lose weight, make more money, own a home, find “the one”, pay off debt, or retire.
Once you accomplished your goal did you give yourself a chance to breathe and appreciate your success? Did you look back at your journey and allow yourself to see the progress you made and how hard you worked to get what you wanted? Did you stop to reflect on how all the resources you needed came together to get you where you wanted to be at the right time?
I would like to think we all stop to enjoy the victory in meeting our goals, however, I think most of us immediately move on to the next goal without giving ourselves permission to stop and enjoy the present moment.
The very thing we identify as the happiness cure becomes forgotten and we raise the bar of contentment a little higher. We convince ourselves that this blank will be the very thing we need to quiet are souls and calm are spirits.
This constant DIS-EASE is exhausting and leads to a never-ending search for fulfillment. The truth is, inner peace and contentment in the now is a spiritual practice that calls us to pause and simply BE. This practice is one that takes time and tremendous patience as we learn to stop the madness of seeking outside things for inner fulfillment.
When we can learn to be in the present moment, regardless of our circumstances, we can learn to rest and experience a quiet peace in every day life, versus the undercurrent of anxiety that we experience by being consumed with meeting the next goal in the future.
Any spiritual book that you pick up speaks to the power and importance of taking time to give thanks and live in the present moment. When we allow gratitude to infuse our hearts we feel calmer, more connected to spirit, and less neurotic in general.
Take a moment to look back at your path. Allow yourself to reflect on all the wonderful things you have accomplished and the ways in which you’ve grown emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally.
Take a minute to think of the influential people that have showed up to push you along the way and give you the resources you needed be it in the form encouragement, wisdom, opportunity, or support of any kind.
Giving thanks from the simplest of gestures to accomplishing the big “blanks” helps keep us grounded and gives us perspective. How will you ever enjoy what you have if you never stop to give yourself the time and space to enjoy it?
Setting goals is a healthy and necessary part of life, however, don’t get so consumed with being “better” that you forget what it is like to “be”.
I have talked to many clients throughout the years who have held on to waiting for circumstances to change in their life before they will be happy. There is an anxiety that is ever present, and they are never at peace with themselves. The key to inner peace is being able to be content in your inner life no matter what the outer circumstances of your life look like.
When you feel the constant pressure and anxiety of trying to meet your next goal, stop and tune into the moment. Be aware of what you see, hear, feel and smell. Simply tuning into your senses will help keep you grounded and safeguard you from anxiety.
If your goal is to lose weight and you have a specific size or weight you would like to be, the worst thing you can do is obsess daily about how to get to that goal. A more effective way to reach your goal is to focus on being present with your body daily. Trust yourself to make healthy choices and move your body in a way that leaves you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed, not exhausted and grumpy. Staying true to the present moment helps you reach your goals in a healthy way that will teach you the skills you need for long term success.
When you make time to tune in and give gratitude for the present moment you will feel your spirit lift and experience a general calm in every day life.
Don’t fall into the trap of being consumed by whatever goal you have ahead of you. Recognize each victory and take a moment to give gratitude for where you are. Recognize that guilt is rooted in the past, anxiety is rooted in the future and peace is rooted in the present moment.
Pay attention to your thoughts and shift gears back to the present moment when your feelings are rooted in negativity.
-Wishing you peace in the present today and always!