When life seems to be racing by, filled with mounting uncertainties and an increasing sense of instability, it can be challenging to stay connected to a sense of peace and joyful purpose. While over the last year I did intentionally put much of my attention on my now 19 year-old son finishing high school and getting off and away to San Pablo, CA—he’s learning many useful things at The Hatlen Center for the Blind there—I had no idea a whole year would pass so quickly, much less the last 19!
(That's a picture of me and my son, Zion, dancing together about 10 years ago. I blinked and it's now now...again! Oh the cosmic humor!)
So how can we live inside of the experience of well-being when the days seem to be turning to mist before our eyes and yet we still care about solid things like financial flow, meaningful and authentic contribution to our community, mutually nourishing relationships and overall happiness? There are lots of responses to that question and what that response is depends on whom you ask. My full answer would require more than this one blog post, but what's essential is to reel in your attention to right here, right now. For me, it’s been a year of putting a lot of my attention on sometime besides the present moment and even though there have been big challenges and some gaping uncertainties, I have kept pretty well tuned to Radio Sarah. There are still challenges and uncertainties; nevertheless, in fact because of those challenges & uncertainties, now is a good time to ramp up the practices that keep me in line with Me and feeling that deep sense of peace. Now, whenever that is, is always a good time to turn attention to The Moment and seeing one’s self as the source of how the moment feels or is experienced. It's pretty human to get distracted, though, so cut yourself a break if you, like me, are not perfect.
One of the reasons some people enjoy fast-moving activities like video games, downhill skiing and many other sports & games is the same as the reason some enjoy meditation, Expressive Movement/Art-making or Tai Chi; these activities require us to bring most or all of the attention to the moment and we feel good there. …I mean here! (hint: whatever activity like that feels good to you is a valuable tool for you to use! ...so go play!)
It feels good to have desires and visions for the future, too and yet when the future, even if it’s later the same day, is what occupies most of my thoughts, that’s when time is a roaring rapid and I find I’m less happy, especially if I don’t know the how’s, when’s, etc. to create what I need, desire or envision. My future is built on the foundation of this moment after all, so caring about my experience in the future requires me to care about my experience, my happiness here and now. I know when I’m feeling good that my actions are much more likely to naturally create or lead me to more of the experiences I desire. When I’m feeling “onky”—onky (ahn-kee) adjective 1. upset in some way, to the extent that I do NOT feel good (based on Sarah’s Dictionary of Invented Words ©2013)—and I do anything, my actions will be guided by those feelings and are more likely to lead to more onkiness. Much better to re-orient to feeling better about myself, Life or whatever and then proceed.
It’s okay not to know all the answers to the questions of how, when, where, who, what; it’s even okay to feel the onkiest you’ve ever felt because there really is plenty of time in The Big Picture for all of it, but when you’re ready to enjoy this moment and this lifetime and not feel like you’ve been losing time to the rapids, turn your attention to feeling good in the here where you are and the now when you are.
I have some more juicy recommendations for feeling good in the moment even if uncertainties or unpleasantries are present. Stay tuned!