The Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh series has long been a favorite of mine, from childhood to this very day.
Of the many quotable comments shared in the collection of stories written by A.A. Milne is a short conversation between Pooh and his good friend Piglet.
“What day is today?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
I catch myself from time to time reflecting on the “shoulda, coulda, wouldas” of my past, or dreaming about the “maybe, someday, possibly” situations of tomorrow — instead of focusing on the wonderful present just waiting to be unwrapped that I received when my eyes popped opened this morning.
I know that I cannot change one second of what has been.
Certainly, I can learn all I can from it, but if I stay there, I will stagnate. I also know I’m not guaranteed to live another second. My life could be ended abruptly and unexpectedly by a runaway doughnut truck!
Arlin Cunic, MA shared on verywellmind.com, eight steps to help stay in the moment and make the most of “the present” we receive each day.
- Notice your surroundings. Just stop and look around. Take time to be totally aware of where you are.
- Focus on one thing at a time (don’t multitask). Trying to keep all those balls in the air as you juggle them is exhausting, and you may not be able to give each one the full focus it needs.
- Be grateful for what you have now. At some point in the day, set aside time to simply list the three things for which you are most grateful in the moment.
- Accept things as they are (not how you want them to be). We cannot possibly control everything in our lives, but we can make our peace with what we cannot change.
- Practice mindfulness meditation. Quietly, take a moment to concentrate on the who, what, why and where of the moment.
- Spend time with people who make you feel happy and fulfilled. As the day proceeds, take time to connect with them.
- Be mindful of everything you do. Focus on the details of the experience at hand and appreciate them. Even when you are eating a meal, take the time to enjoy the food, how it tastes, smells, looks and how you feel during the process.
- Practice deep breathing exercises. Just lean into the moment and breathe through it. Several slow, steady breaths serve to center and calm us.
Now is a priceless gift that will not come again. It is yours to enjoy and you are worth it!
I will close with a treasured poem. Unfortunately, the author is unknown.
Outside my window
A new day I see
And only I can determine
What kind of day it will be
It can be busy and sunny
Laughing and gay
Or boring and cold
Unhappy and gray
My own state of mind
Is the determining key
For I am only the person
I let myself be
I can be thoughtful
And do all I can to help
Or be selfish
And think just of myself
I can enjoy what I do
And make it seem fun
Or gripe and complain
And make it hard on someone
I can be patient
With those who may not understand
Or belittle and hurt them
As much as I can
But I have faith in myself
And believe what I say
And I personally intend
To make the best of each day
Learning as I go, Barb