Many people assume ‘gifts’ mean specific things or having certain people in their lives. Though those are definitely good definitions, I think the real gifts are the moments we have because it’s in these moments that we get to experience the events, the people, the things, the thoughts. It’s really the moments that matter.
Many of us rush through the moments, often thinking this one isn’t as valuable as another one coming up. Or that we can’t possibly be happy until something in the future happens. With this type of thinking, we spend our moments waiting, counting down the days until we can be happy, healthy, or have something we told ourselves we can’t have or be right now. With this type of thinking, we always seem to be in a place that is never where we want to be; we’re always aware of what is missing or wrong instead of what is great or right.
But here is the wildest thing. All we ever have in life are the moments. Life is built by the moments. And each one is neutral – it just is. We add the meaning. Each moment carries not only the potential for joy, but information and wisdom, as well. And when we tune in, we are part of the moment, and can learn from this to influence the quality of the very next moment.
We have the choice to either show up to the moments in our lives or let them fly by. So how can we more effectively see the gift in each moment?
- Show up to the moment. Right here, right now is all that is going on for each of us. Tune in to the moment. Using each of your five senses, figure out what information this moment is sharing with you. How awake are you to your feelings, thoughts and everything else going on around you? Whether you are folding towels, walking the dog or sitting in a business meeting, commit to being there. Notice everything – the texture of the towels, the breeze and moonlight when you walk the dog, the emotions of the people in your meeting. Each is there for you to enjoy, and to learn from. Being in the moment introduces you to a larger and more significant world. And being in the moment helps you discover your unique abilities. Since we were not born with an owner’s manual, everything you need to find out about what you are good at, passionate about and what matters to you will happen in the moments of your life. Tune in and you gather information. Have this information to make the most out of this moment and the next.
- Stay in the moment. Fight the urge to rush past where you are in search of “something better.” This moment is the accumulation of every event and moment you have ever had. All of what you know, have experienced, what you have done, who you have met – it all leads to this moment. Enjoy this moment. Stay with this moment. And while in it, watch for information to help you choose wiser when it comes to moving to the next moment. Be more aware of these moments and you’ll find they last longer. Ignore them and they vanish – they, and life, flies by.
- Be grateful for the moment. Say thank you for each moment. As they say, “have an attitude of gratitude.” Acknowledge the greatness of being right here, right now. For all its faults, there is more right than wrong with the world. And though we can see the negative – the lack of certain things, the challenges life often brings – take the time to see how amazing things are and how wonderfully blessed we are to be part of them. Be grateful to have choices in each moment. Be grateful to have a voice in how our moments unfold.
Lives are the accumulation of moments. A great life is the accumulation of great moments. No moment is happy or sad, powerful or bland, enjoyable or boring, unless we make it that way. The moment is neutral; its value is in how we show up to it. We can make the moments of driving to a dentist appointment or to school an event by singing, noticing details of the drive, sharing stories. Or we can miss the moment locked in on our phones, cruising the Internet and unaware of others in or out of the vehicle.
Each moment is a gift. How present are you to the moments in your life?