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Tag living in the now

In the moment

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So it was a great Sunday in Brisbane mastering stress with Nicholas de Castella this week. And while there are so many ways to diffuse from the pressures in life, the take home message is you’ve actually got to do it! No point in knowing all this stuff if you don’t actually put it into practise.

One of the best ways I know is to live in the moment.

Not worrying about the future, not agonising over the past. Just being in the present moment.

Nicholas gave us a great way to do this. And standing in the rain waiting for a cab this week my boss (and daughter) Julie was able to put it into practise. With it bucketing down in Canberra and Parliament sitting there wasn’t a cab to be seen. Despite the booking nearly 40 minutes earlier. Can’t have those pollies getting wet, can we. So Julz had a choice. She could stand there getting cranky, worrying about where she needed to be and all the things she needed to do… or she could stand there and experience the present moment. The chance to enjoy the sound of rain while she sheltered under cover. The chance to enjoy the luxury of time to breath deeply and just be there. The chance to notice her car getting a good wash. And she could do all of this just by standing in the rain. Not judging the experience. Just being present to it.

No surprises which choice made her feel better and more in control.

What will you choose?

Mastering Stress – tickets still available for Sydney June 28, Melbourne July 5, Adelaide July 26. Call the office (02 6247 8336) to grab your seat.

Freedom to live

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Given the current happenings in the world, you could be forgiven for thinking that the world is not a safe place. With moment to moment coverage of all the hot spots it can be a little unnerving, can’t it. It may even make you rethink some of your plans. Or perhaps cancel them and just stay in doors.

But at what cost?

To hide from life’s opportunities because of the ‘what ifs’ doesn’t make sense to me. Obviously, it’s important to weigh up the risks, but allowing yourself to miss out on the wonders of life simply because of the thoughts in your head…? How many of us do that?

The thing is we are all going to move on to a different plane one day. A basic fact of life. And when you’ve come face to face with your own mortality it’s not something you can ignore. But in this culture it’s not an idea we like to think about. Not one we talk about.  And it’s pretty hard to get comfortable with something we try so hard to forget. But if we can gain a sense of peace around the fact that our physical bodies will one day give way to whatever awaits us, it gives us the freedom to embrace the adventures of life, risks and all. It gives us the freedom to live. Minute to minute. Living in the now.  Making the most of each morning we wake, the most of every opportunity that comes our way.

Life IS in this present moment.

We all have a choice, don’t we. Hide from life out of our fear of losing it and miss out on all the good stuff. Or embrace life, embrace the risks and live the adventure for as long as our days allow.

What choice will you make?

The Wisdom of a Child

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She comes to visit the office quite regularly. This pint sized little person. No more than 2 and a half foot tall. Blond curls to boot. And so gorgeous. She’d fit in her schoolbag no problem at all. She entrances us all.  And it’s at these moments the office comes to a standstill.

Five pm and I watched her leave. Her mother had called her. Time to go. She carried a huge pile of things as she headed for the car. Ipad, school bag, pencils and drawings. Pretty impressive effort for a three year old. But as she obediently headed across the grass something caught her attention. And she couldn’t resist it. Stopping to turn back. Reaching down, reorganizing everything she was carrying to capture something that had captured her. A simple dandelion in the grass. Some of us see only weeds, don’t we.  But she obviously saw so much more. And I held my breath as I watched her take a moment to respond its beauty. Willing her not to drop the ipad. But she managed it all. And her prize was the exquisite joy the flower gave her.

In that moment, the child became my teacher. It’s so easy to think we know more than them, just because we’re all grown up. But adult eyes can lose their focus, can’t they. Dulled by time. So caught up in our stuff it’s so easy to forget the simple pleasures.

I wonder what beauty awaits you at this very moment in time, that you may not yet have discovered…

Gratitude

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I drove in to the office this morning with a strong sense of gratitude. The sun is finally shining again, for Canberra it’s actually warm outside and the day is pure magic. What a trifecta.

And what I found was that this sense of gratitude just seemed to snowball. Because there are so many things we can be thankful for, aren’t there. As soon as I thought of one thing, another one came to mind. And it continued for some time. The windscreen must have felt so good.

But the great thing about gratitude is that it makes us feel good too. Happy, feel good chemicals flow through our bodies whenever we think those thankful thoughts. Not only does gratitude make others feel appreciated, it causes us to shift gear in our brains. And that turns on the happy juice for us too. A pretty awesome bonus, huh. Every wondered why people say grace or a take a moment’s pause before a meal? Because gratitude has physical consequences. Religion aside, the simple act of thankfulness slows us down, bringing us into the present. Enabling us to switch out of our stress and busyness and switch on our happy feelings. Which naturally switches on our digestion. Makes sense, doesn’t it. Such brilliant engineering.

But even more than this, gratitude is the very best way we can affirm our hearts desires, giving ourselves the very best chance of receiving them. Simply by giving thanks as if we have already received them. And by releasing those feel good chemicals, we can lock in the idea of what it is we want. Straight into our subconscious. You know, that awesome gift we all have. It’s a real treasure house so many people are yet to discover, let alone make full use of.  And like a dog with bone, an idea once locked in to your subconscious has no choice but to take form in your life. Just give it the idea of what you want, and get out of its way, because it will do everything in its power to get it for you. No wonder they say, be careful what you wish for.

So for what you already have and the good things yet to come, what are you grateful for today?

An attitude of gratitude. It makes sense to practice it daily.

Beyond Eternity

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I was listening to breakfast radio last week. Driving in traffic, so I had the dial on classical. You know, to keep the calm vibes flowing as I dealt with all the other drivers on the road. It’s incredible how the type of music you listen to affects your brain.

But the thing that really got me was when this very conservative radio station asked a truly awesome question.

‘What’s beyond eternity?’

I bet it had some people choking on their cornflakes. Challenging the here and now. After all, how do you even begin to answer a question like that?

And they began to tell the story of Arthur Stace. A man probably better known as Mr Eternity. A Sydney legend. And yet an ordinary man who had had his  share of challenges. For a long time addicted to alcohol, he found faith in a higher source and turned his life around in the most beautiful way. And the gift he gave was to chalk the word ‘eternity’ on Sydney pavements to inspire others. Twenty four times he avoided arrest. But the most incredible thing is he was illiterate. Couldn’t even write his name legibly. It turns out the only word he could write was ‘eternity’ in that hauntingly beautiful script. Even he couldn’t understand it.  Because it’s one of those great mysteries, isn’t it. How magic happens when we’re in flow.

Just before the 9am news, I held my breath in wonder at a listener’s response…

‘We are in eternity, we just have to still the mind and live in the present’

It kind of slowed things down. One of those awesome ‘aha’s that made me stop and reassess.

What’s beyond eternity? If we’re already living it I guess that means we have all the time in the world, doesn’t it. And I wonder in realising this, how will you choose to live your life today?