3 Ways Be Present & Enjoy Life

Here we go.  Another week.  Another powerful thought. 

Reading the chapter in Joyce Meyer’s Power Thoughts on Power Thought #10:  I live in the present and enjoy each moment, brought to mind my Grandma.  She is 85 years old, and every morning, she says, “This is that day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).  Grandma also told me once many years ago that when she goes to bed, before she falls asleep, she thinks of one work thing she wants to accomplish the next day, and one fun thing.  Grandma has had this all figure out for a while—we are meant to enjoy this life God has given us, and that is much easier to do when we live balanced lives.

     There are three other big lessons for me in this power thought.

  1. Enjoy the mundane. 

I think this is an awesome lesson because frankly, much of life is made up of mundane tasks—getting dressed, brushing teeth, grocery shopping, driving, paying bills, doing laundry, running errands, returning phone calls—you get the idea.  These activities take up a huge amount of time every day and every week.  If we see them as “stuff I have to get done,” they are not going to be enjoyable.  If we focus on the moment with gratitude, we can enjoy even the most tedious tasks.  I am thankful for hot water for baths, thankful for clothes to wear, thankful for money in the bank to pay the bills, and so on.

  1. Enjoy your work. 

If you separate your life into work, which is a have-to and a drag, and time off, which fun and what you look forward to, it’s going to be difficult to enjoy all of your life.  We spend so much time working; we must make up our minds to create fun in our work. 

  1. Don’t wait to enjoy your life.

I don’t consciously put off enjoying my life.  Yet, certain thoughts and attitudes creep into my mind:  I will enjoy life when:  when I have a better job, when I lose 20 pounds, when the house is looking better, when my commute is shorter, when the weather is warmer, when everything’s paid off.  There will always be those things that exist in some hazy idea we have about our future—that time when we will finally allow ourselves to enjoy life…but then, new things always pop up, and enjoying life gets put off again.  Let’s stop with the conditions that begin with “when.”  Let’s start enjoying every moment of life today!

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Tuesday Night Ramblings

The weather here in Missouri has improved—there are no storms in the forecast this week.  It looks like I will make it to work/school every day.  That is a welcome change, and my classes are going very well.  What’s not going well everything else.  I can’t remember when I last cleaned the house.  My exercise routine isn’t really routine—it is sporadic at best.  Those things are discouraging, so I am going to try not to think about them and focus on what’s going well instead.  Life doesn’t always fall into line the way we plan it.  A day sometimes brings surprises, inconveniences, and delays.  I am trying to be adaptable to what comes, and accept what is with gratitude instead of beating myself up and getting angry when my plan for the day gets pushed to the side. 

Today’s Gratitude List:

  1.   I received word today that I have been awarded certification to teach English grades 5-12.  This is going to open up some new job possibilities for me.
  2.  I was asked to design a course for a professional development institute which will mean extra income. 
  3. The fact that my classes going well is not a blessing to be overlooked.  My students are engaged and I leave our meetings feeling happy and inspired.
  4.  There are the day-to-day joys of living the small town life.  Today, when I got home, my husband was at the opposite end of the drive setting up coral panels.  Scout the dog was with him.  We decided to play “catch” with Scout the dog.  Scout loves the snow and loves to run fast, so he kicks up a lot of wintery dust when he gets going.  I called him and he barreled toward me at a dead run.  Then, my hubby called him.  Then, we didn’t have to call him.  He just ran back and forth between us, while we laughed at his antics.  To sum up—a day that I laugh is a good day, even if my house is messy and I haven’t worked out.

Final Thoughts on #3: I will not live in fear.

     As I am preparing for week #4 of Joyce Meyer’s Power Thoughts  and a brand new thought to get wedged in my brain, I want to share a few parting thoughts about Power Thought #3:  I will not live in fear.

1.  I sleep much, much better since I have been focusing on the fact that I will not live in fear.  I used to go to bed and start worrying about things that I feared might happen the next day or the next week at work–how so and so might respond to something I did, or what someone might think or say….Now, I am really able to let it go.  It’s nice not dreading the coming day!

2.  Other than that, I don’t have a tremendous amount of awareness about the areas where I am prone to let fear hold me back.  I don’t think this is because fear isn’t in my life—I think it’s because I am a bit asleep to its influence.  So, I have started thinking throughout the day of doing One brave thing.  I will ask myself, What is the most fearless thing I could do in this situation?  It is very exciting and freeing stuff.  Thinking this way brought on the realization that while I desperately want positive change in my life, I am also afraid of upsetting the status quo.  Not sure why, and it doesn’t matter.  I am practicing doing one brave thing each day.  It may be as simple as exercising for 30 minutes–but, I have realized that fear keeps me in ruts, so any change or movement forward is an expression of courage.  Woohoo!

Grateful for What Is

     I think one of the many benefits of practicing gratitude is the fact that it shuts down a lot of other negative thought processes.

     On my quest of positive change and mind renewal, I have been faithfully repeating my mantra for the year–TRUSTING GOD,  and also meditating on this week’s power thought, I will not live in fear.  And…nothing seems to be happening.  Nothing seems to be changing.  If anything, I see myself becoming less motivated, and wondering How did that happen?

      I am clinging to my intentions here.  I am trusting that God is renewing my mind, and that I am on the right path, even if I don’t think I am seeing results.  I have been thinking a certain way, according to a certain pattern for an awfully long time–I must give the new thoughts time to take hold.  I will not live in fear that my motivation is gone forever.  I will not live in fear of being in a rut.  After all, that is just my perception of things today.  Perception changes.

     I have been helped tremendously by focusing on the many beautiful and rich moments I have enjoyed this day, and feeling gratitude for all that is, instead of fretting about what has not yet manifested.  AFter all, I can worry, or I can enjoy my life right now.  I am choosing to enjoy this precious life I have been given right now.

      Here’s a random list of what I am grateful for right at this moment:

  • I just want to scream from the rooftops how happy I am to have friends.
  • How happy I am to be able to read, how grateful I am for stories, and songs, and musical instruments
  • How I love tomato sauces
  • Scented lotions
  • And the different times of day—doesn’t each part of the day have its own beauty and special feel?  I love early morning, starting to work, midmorning-almost lunch, the noon hour, early afternoon, mid-afternoon, late afternoon, dusk and early evening, mid to lat evening, late evening.  
  • I know this will sound very old-ladyish, but I don’t care:  one of the most amazing luxuries I experience every day, is the pleasure I feel at going to bed.  I am tired when I go to bed, and when I lie down on that soft mattress and feel the flannel sheets and down comforter on my bare feet and legs, I relax and the tension leaves.  There are few things more pleasant than a comfortable bed when you’re tired, and the wonderful anticipation of a full night of sleep and rest and sweet dreams and the knowledge that a brand new day is coming soon.