Yesterday, my husband and I both had a day off, at the same time – a very rare occurrence. It was a hot, muggy afternoon, with dark clouds threatening rain. So, we decided to check the TiVo to see what it had recorded. We decided to watch Kung Fu Panda. High-brow it is not, and yet… there was a wise Turtle who said a wise thing:
“The past is history. The future is a mystery. Right now is a gift – that’s why it’s called the present.”
This is not a new quote, a new concept, or even a new movie, but I liked getting the reminder. How often are we so consumed with the future and the past, that we forget to enjoy or even notice the present? I love working with clients, helping them stage their homes or get their spaces organized and functioning well – because I am completely present with them, in that moment. I don’t think about the last appointment, or the next appointment, I just think about that item, or that picture, or lamp, and the best place where it should “live”. It may sound odd, but when I’m finished, I feel refreshed. Even if it’s a long day, and I’m physically worn out, my mind is awake. It’s why I love what I do.
Any project, whether large or small, has the power to engage us and connect us the the present moment. Years ago, before TV or I-Phones, people would unwind by playing a card game, chatting with friends, or even doing chores together. In fact, I doubt the need to “unwind” was even considered very often. You just did what you needed to do, and you found the joy in it, in that moment. If you find that TV, Facebook, or your Blackberry are at best post-poning your anxiety, and at worst adding to it, why not turn them off for a while? Is life so awful that we need constant distractions from it? If so, why aren’t we looking at the reason?
I find it funny that computers and Blackberrys are something we are “on”… like a drug. True, the very fact that I’m writing this blog is ironic, or just plain hypocritical, but when I’m “off” the computer, I’m off. Without these electronic leashes, I find I can enjoy everything from grocery shopping to cleaning out the garage. A project, any project, can allow you to remember how lucky you are to have a brain and a body that works. In the next few days, try doing a little project with the phone or Blackberry out of reach, and see how (after you get over the anxiety of being “disconnected”) it can calm your mind.