Today is my Birthday. It has become a tradition of mine to take each New Years Day and each Birthday and spend some time in nature to reflect on what I want the next year to look like. It is a very special time that I take just for me. When I blew out my candles yesterday, my wish was to spend this year being completely present, fully awake, and deeply aware of each moment I am in.
It is not a very popular view in our current society, but this year, I am taking the pressure off. Instead of constant dreaming, creating, analyzing, working, and thinking (which I also love), I am taking some time to simply enjoy and be with what is. To take care of what I have instead of striving for more. Essentially, I am committing to the present moment, not the past or the future. To jump fully and wholeheartedly into THIS moment. Whether I am at the studio teaching a class or at home with my family, talking to a friend or listening to another person, I commit to being HERE NOW. With that comes the ability to listen and be guided by the heart, by God, by our inner voice. What feels RIGHT and GOOD is what I choose to focus on today...and this month...and this year.
My teenage years were spent not doing, but being...in a way that did not serve me. I lived a life of escape through addictions and unhealthy patterns. I did not have the tools at that time to deal with my emotions. My early adult life was characterized by much overdoing, overworking, and overthinking, perhaps to subconsciously make up for my younger years. It then became a form of acceptance. If only I did "this," then people would accept, like, and/or respect me. I found that I was mistakenly seeking the approval of other people, while focusing on goals that didn't really make me happy. It then became a way to somehow secure my future financially and nothing seemed like enough. It became very fear based and eventually morphed into a compulsive behavior of DOING and THINKING. This way of thinking is depleting and exhausting.
When there is a constant striving and reaching for goals in an imbalanced way, it often prevents us from living in the present with appreciation and gratitude for what is. It is such a sacred gift to be awake and aware for EACH moment that we find ourselves in. It is possible to find balance between DOING and BEING. It is possible to be successful in life, but to do so in a way that honors our Higher Self, not just the ego self.
So with no further adieu, here are my Birthday Declarations for the last year that I can say that I am "thirty-something" :
"Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift." Oprah Winfrey
"Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are cause by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence." Elkhart Tolle
"The next message you need is always right where you are." Ram Dass
"The only time you ever have in which to learn anything, or see anything, or feel anything, or express any feeling or emotion, or respond to an event, or grow, or heal, is this moment, because this moment is all any of us ever gets. You're only here now; you're only alive in this moment." Jon Kabat-Zinn
Jenna Sullivan Pritchard