For 2017, the three words I wanted to focus on were: open, accepting and anchored. The first two months of this new year are drawing to a close, and I would say that I’ve had a lot of opportunities to focus on being anchored.
I’m working hard on staying in the present moment. I’ve traveled a lot in February, flying to Alberta three times to present at teachers’ conventions in Edmonton and Calgary. Ava’s acting career has also been heating up with lots of auditions and some bookings for film and commercials. This has kept me busy, but in a good way, not a frantic one.
When you have a lot of balls up in the air, it really helps to take each day as it comes instead of worrying about the next day. Each one has enough challenges and excitement in it. I used to live so much in my mind, stressing out over things that were way down the road. This business of anchoring in to each present moment is so much better for my overall sense of life satisfaction.
Meditation has been a huge help to me since the beginning of January. I downloaded Insight Timer to my phone, a free app with lots of guided meditations to choose from on a variety of topics. It’s free (which I love) and setting aside ten to fifteen minutes each morning to indulge in meditation has calmed my mind and my soul more than I ever dreamed possible.
It’s not an overstatement to say that I feel like a completely different person. One that can handle uncertainty and short timelines much better than before. I can now roll with the punches and I’ve accepted that it’s fine not to have the next twenty steps neatly mapped out. It’s enough to know what I’m doing at this moment and have a vague idea of the next step. Anything beyond that feels too stressful.
Anchoring myself is a wonderful gift. I credit meditation as the number one change I’ve made in the last two months, but also simply fine-tuning my awareness and working at calming myself when I’m anxious has made a big difference to the overall peace I’m experiencing. Sometimes we need a scary illness like I had this summer to properly crystallize what matters and be finally able to let go of what hangs us up and never really served us.
My need to control has been a lifelong habit, strangling me without me being aware of how hampering it was. But now I’ve learned a better way of coping, one that involves kind words to myself and to others around me, plus a clear understanding that I am in charge of very little in this life. And that’s okay. It’s up to me to keep my mind sharp and clear, to push out of the way all of the little irritations and time-wasters that conspire to steal my joy.
I’m feeling grounded, anchored, held. I can easily admit I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I have very few of them. But it’s really fine. No one has all the answers. If they say they do, they are lying to cover up their overall anxiety level. Gentleness works better. So does staying in the moment. Having a sense of humour helps too.
Worrying about tomorrow truly does rob today of its happiness. I’m not going to do that anymore. I’m staying here, right now, and noticing what’s in me and around me. What a difference this change has made to the quality of my days and my willingness to try new and challenging things.