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Putting My Oxygen Mask on First – Living in the Present

Are you waiting to schedule your regular dental check up until the kids settle into the new school year? Or putting off a massage until you finish that big project at work?

My daughter shared an observation this week. Starting at the end of elementary school, kids start to focus on getting good grades so they will be in the right “track” in middle school. In middle school, they take the “right” classes and work on getting good grades, so they can take honors and AP classes in high school. In high school, they are focused on getting good grades and participating in activities so they’ll get into the “right” college. In college they are focused on getting good grades and participating in activities and internships so they’ll get a good job. She continued on through saving for retirement…in other words, you’re always focused on achieving the next goal instead of appreciating where you are at.

I witnessed these thoughts playing out for her this week as she worried about taking time to see the opening of The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier instead of spending the evening on a biology assignment. I assured her that 10 years from now, even if she is a biologist, she will have gotten more out of attending the preview of that play than spending hours on that one biology assignment.

A couple of months ago I realized I was focused on building my practice at the expense of other areas of my life. And I wondered what I was doing it for? Is it really worth the cost I was paying? And is it even necessary? Wouldn’t I be more successful at building my practice if I was healthier, happier, had more energy and more joy? The summer was almost over and I hadn’t spent time at the beach or done any summer reading. I’d put off getting an eye exam or my teeth cleaned. I hadn’t had any summer adventures with my kids. I hadn’t spent warm summer evenings having a drink with my friends. I hadn’t been to a Cubs game since opening day. As my daughter said, we get so caught up in working towards our goals and taking care of others, that we forget to LIVE and take care of OURSELVES.

What do you need to start doing or do more of to LIVE in the present? What strategies have you used to STAY PRESENT or make sure LIFE isn’t passing you by?

In August, I got consistent with the following actions – and that helped me live more mindfully:

  1. Reviewing things for which I’m grateful every morning.
  2. Meditating daily.
  3. Getting clarity about the abundance I want in my life and then looking for ways to enjoy it NOW, TODAY instead of waiting to achieve this fictional “ultimate” goal that will enable abundance. I am prioritizing my time so that I can make the most of the remaining warm days by doing things like going for a walk or meditating by the lake, sipping a margarita on the patio with a friend., bringing home flowers and peaches from the farmer’s market, and reading for FUN.

What MOMENTS and MEMORIES will you create with the last 19 days of summer 2017? As Ferris Bueller says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Join me for Putting My Oxygen Mask on First on FB live on the Northshore Acupuncture Center FB page on Sundays at 1:30pm CDT.




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