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Mantra and Goals: I will Focus on the Present Moment

This week, I encourage you to be grateful for the little things that make you happy each day, even when the bigger things seem to be falling apart. In the past few weeks, I’ve been…well….unmotivated.

I have not:

1. Practiced Yoga. Once.

2. Written in my Journal.

3. Made headway on figuring out my passion.

4. Eaten a really healthy and balanced diet.

I’ve become the person that I don’t want to be.

I’m snappy at the security guys in the lobby. I wake up in the morning, not appreciative of the sunrise, but angry that I have to go to work. I am losing my essence and my awareness and my gratitude. I’m not open and transparent to the people I care about. I feel like I’m not honoring who I am and being confident about what is really important to me.

And it’s scaring the shit out of me.

As my travels around Asia drift further and further into the past, I have become more and more of the person I used to be before I left: concerned with the future, exhausted at the prospect of taking a risk and failing with all my might, and confused about what it is that I’m really meant to do in my one precious life.

I’m not sure if it’s the result of having so much success in the past few years growing as a person, but I’m starting to feel like I don’t know what direction to move in anymore.  I’m constantly worrying about what “year” this is going to be for me. Is this year going to be better than 2008 when I changed jobs, learned to scuba dive, and gained a mentor at work?

Am I going to trump 2009, where I ran four marathons and broke my big and important, sub-4-hour goal? Am I going to blow 2010 out of the water, when though I learned to surf, traveled to 7 different foreign countries, and started to figure out what it means to be passionate?  What is 2011 going to hold for me? And what if it isn’t as dynamic and incredible as the past few years?

What if I’ve peaked? What if I’ve had the best days of my life? (sorry, Bryan Adams.)

I know I’m not alone in feeling this way.  We all freak out the moment we realize that we do, in fact, have options beyond what we traditionally thought was our “life’s path.” And while it’s exciting to finally feel like you’ve realized that there is so much more to life than working 40 hours a week so that you can stay out late with your friends on the weekends (aka your 30s), once you actually try to put that realization into practice, shit gets scary.   Making a steady paycheck makes sense. Having health insurance makes sense. Typing on my pretty little Mac in my cozy little bed makes sense. If there was something about this life that I’m living that didn’t make sense, 95% of people wouldn’t do it.

But I’m not exhilarated. I’m not jumping for joy when I get out of bed in the morning. I’m not excited to be living my life. And I’m not excited to be living my life because I am too overwhelmed with what it might mean to actually live a life I love. Because I’m scared to fail at doing what I absolutely love to do.

I’m frightened that I won’t be able to get facials anymore, or live in my own apartment, or join my friends for happy hour because I won’t have my steady paycheck. I’m scared that my mom will call me more than she already does to make sure everything is okay, and that my friends won’t support me because they all like the lives they live. And I’m scared of saying “I’m a waitress/writer” or “I’m a sales associate/yoga teacher.” I’m frightened for my future.

But you know what? I think we’re all a bit scared. And while I can’t say that fear is comfortable, I can say that I am taking comfort in the fact that I’m not alone when I say that I’m scared to fail. While it’s easy to say that I shouldn’t be scared (and I did in this article), sometimes it’s easier said than done. And to combat that fear, I’m going to start focusing not on where I’m going, but where I am.

Because right now, I’m loving writing this article.

And I’m loving that I’m going to head to yoga in a few minutes.

And I’m loving that I have a mug of warm tea on my nightstand.

And I’m loving that my room smells like lavender and vanilla.

And while my future is knee-knocking scary, my present is pretty beautiful. I may have temporarily forgotten all of the things I was taught in my yoga teacher training, but if I remember once piece of advice, it’s going to be to stay conscious of my surroundings. Stay mindful of the things that are happening at any moment. Because those are the things that make up my future; it’s the tiny moments that pave the roads that lead to my ultimate dream life.

Starting right now, I’m here. Now. I won’t look back. I will (try) not to look forward.  I will appreciate and respect the moments that I have every day, and make those moments the joy that keeps me going.

How do you guys deal with your qualms about the future? Any advice for me and your fellow readers about focusing inward rather than outward?


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