Monday, December 27, 2010

Learning to be Aware of this Moment

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return." ~Mary Jean Iron

So often, we let the present slip through our fingers. We squander away the precious seconds of our lives as we worry about the future or can't let go of the past. We provide excuses for why we cannot be happy now. We must have more money, a better house, an expensive car, a more caring spouse, lose more weight, etc. We never get to a place of arriving - of enjoying the moment.

We travel through our lives in a fog of "someday" instead of living for the here and now. Learn to live your life gratifyingly aware. Breathe in each precious moment and drink the experiences into your soul.

Quit letting the "could've, would've, should'ves" distract you. Quiet your distracting mind. Pause and focus on what you are doing.

Make a conscious effort during each day to focus on a task. Feel your chest expand as you take a breath. Note how your muscles stretch to move. Notice the sights and sounds around you. Realize how precious a gift it is that you are spending this moment with someone. This very moment will never happen for you again so relish it, give it the attention it truly deserves because it will never be here again.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Devastating December 2010

"You never know how strong you are...until being strong is the only choice you have."

This month has been one of the roughest times for me and my kids. In the past four weeks, we have lost five members of our family and friends. Just when we felt we would begin to grab a breath, something else would happen and snatch the rug right out from under us.

While everyone has been rushing around trying to buy up their Christmas, it took us until mere days before Christmas to even put up a tree. It is truly hard to celebrate when you have experienced so much death.

The most difficult ones for us are those we didn't see coming. The man I dated for almost 10 yr suddenly died from a blood clot hitting his lungs. One of my sons' closest friends, at the age of 22, slit his own throat and took his life. It breaks my heart to watch my kids have to go through so many back to back devastating losses in such a short period of time.

The other night my 15-yr old daughter comes into my room to find me in tears and gives me a much needed hug. She says "You have a big heart mom, that's why it all hurts you so much." A little while later, she pokes her head into my room and says, "Do you remember when we were little and you told us that the rain was angel's tears? See mama! The angels have been crying for days now so you aren't alone." She hugged me and said, "That story always helped me" and she left. I love that girl so much! It literally rained non-stop for 5 days.

So on Christmas Eve, while my girls were at a family event with their father, and my sons were gone to wrap themselves around their friends in remembrance of Dean, I poured some wine into the engraved glass I had gotten from Rich years ago, turned on some Norah Jones, wrapped gifts then finally opened that Christmas bag of mementos from his desk.

This Christmas it has been our wish that everyone take time to hug those you love & let them know how much they mean to you as we say goodbye to some of ours.

~Love, Dana

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gratifyingly Aware

"Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are." – Bernice Johnson Reagon

I recently lost someone near and dear to my heart. When he died it felt like someone had reached into me and ripped out part of my soul. I let that grief and sorrow flow through every vein and pore of my being. I let those around me see and hear me at one of the lowest points of my life. Rather than fight back all of the emotions, I let them consume me. Then -- I tried to remember how to breathe. It took considerable effort to just pause and try to focus on my breathing.

Grief forces you to truly live in the moment. It causes you to wonder how the world can continue on as if nothing happened when you feel like your entire world has been shattered. My grief has caused me to realize just how often we merely float through our lives without really being in attendance. We get caught up in the daily grind rather than truly experiencing it. Think I'm crazy? Ever been driving home then realize that you have no memory of driving the past few hundred feet?

My goal is to start living for the moment. To be Gratifyingly Aware of the fact that each action, choice and decision is an experience to fully live through. It’s about being awake, fully present, and living our lives intentionally.