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April has almost come and gone and with it our month of emotional austerity. Sarah asked me today what I’ve taken away from this month.  As I ponder it, I think what has surprised me was the success – albeit limited – of living more firmly in the moment.   I have read somewhere that those who deal with depression dwell in the past, while those who suffer with anxiety issues worry about the future.  It’s interesting that in each of these cases, emotional imbalance is caused by one’s inability to live in the present.  As an anxious, goal-setting Eagle type personality (see Sarah’s post from yesterday), my default has been to live in the future.  Whether it is planning for it, anticipating it, or worrying about it, the future clearly has been a huge suck of my emotional and mental energy in my life.  Aware of this now, I am now in a position to change this behavior.  This is not an easy undertaking.  But I do feel I am making progress, and this month has been quite helpful to further this quest.

I’ve taken the following piece from “The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment” by Jay Dixit…

“Here’s the most fundamental paradox of all: Mindfulness isn’t a goal, because goals are about the future, but you do have to set the intention of paying attention to what’s happening at the present moment. As you read the words printed on this page, as your eyes distinguish the black squiggles on white paper, as you feel gravity anchoring you to the planet, wake up. Become aware of being alive. And breathe. As you draw your next breath, focus on the rise of your abdomen on the in-breath, the stream of heat through your nostrils on the out-breath. If you’re aware of that feeling right now, as you’re reading this, you’re living in the moment. Nothing happens next. It’s not a destination. This is it. You’re already there.”

This is a great article, and I am attaching the link here.

Thanks to all of you for sharing this month with us.   And since I am resisting the urge to future-think, I will not ponder what might come next month. Whatever it is, I’m sure the lessons will be there for the taking.

Have a great weekend.   And when you feel stressed, just BREATHE!