Those three months of summer can be hectic. With children being out of school and numerous camps and activities occurring, it can become difficult to navigate and keep our heads above water. We are focused on trying to juggle so many tasks at one time that we can become increasingly discontent with the present moment.
I recently read a book titled 10% Happier by ABC news correspondent, Dan Harris. In the book, he discusses his own lifelong struggles with anxiety, negative self talk and general unhappiness with life. He very candidly opens up about his journey towards healing and how the practice of mindfulness, or purposefully keeping our attention in the present moment, has helped him to “tame the voices” in his head. In the book, Dan discusses how oftentimes we view the present as an “obstacle that we need to overcome in order to get to the next moment.” Unfortunately, this is so often the truth.
We are so busy. Our minds are constantly cluttered with to-do lists or worries and anxieties about the future that we rarely slow down to take note of the present moment. What oftentimes happens is that our minds are so full of what we need to take care of tomorrow that we miss the beauty of today. There is not enough room in our brains to stop and notice a sunset or the wonder of our children playing when we are focused on when the laundry is going to get done or when we will complete a work project.
What if instead of viewing our present, anything from the season of the year to the season of our life, as a hurdle to jump over, we instead slow down and take it all in?
Even in the chaotic months of summer there are so many positive moments to just notice, appreciate and relish in. Perhaps try starting small and take five minutes every day to stop and just notice something that brings you joy in that present moment. Maybe it is the summer breeze and shining sun through your window. Perhaps it is watching your children finally be able to play outside after months of being cooped up in the house. Maybe it is something as simple as your warm morning cup of coffee or a pleasant conversation with a coworker over lunch break. Whatever it is, try to slow down enough to notice what is bringing you joy and sit in that moment for just a bit longer.
Rushing through life does not make time go by faster but it definitely prevents us from noticing the beauty in it.