There sure is a lot out there to distract us, isn’t there? I talk to more people that feel they are barely staying above water with all they have to do, than people who feel relaxed about life. On my constant quest to understand life and make the most of it, I ponder this idea – what are we paying attention to?
I fear we are paying attention to our debts, our never-ending stack of work, our fears over the “end of the world” scares, our stresses that there is never enough time, how tired our bodies feel. It is easy to get stuck in a thought pattern like this because the reality is, we are simply overwhelmed with the changes of the world. We are learning to adapt to a new way of living. And “adapt”, we must do.
On May 21 I held a birthday party for some close friends and family. I told everyone I did NOT want any gifts – that was not what the party was about. It was about community, pulling people out of that “thought cycle” and allowing everyone space to enjoy themselves. We played in the pool, talked in the sun and grilled burgers. I looked around many times and thought, “This is the life.”
What was interesting to me is that 4 people were about to cancel last minute. They had “so much going on they didn’t think they could slip away.” We can all relate. It’s funny because they all individually told me, “but we just couldn’t allow ourselves to do that – it’s Amber we’re celebrating.” Of course my ego felt all good about it, but more, those people took a moment to truly “stop”. The stress they felt wanted to keep them on this hamster wheel. The love in their hearts overpowered and allowed them to enjoy the weather and conversation at this wonderful party.
My point is when we are distracted, we often miss what’s happening all around us. If you are clear and paying attention “in the present” it is THE most incredible experience. Time slows down. Color is brighter, scents are stronger, we can hear everything. We can hear our intuition and desires. We can know what is right and wrong. We can show up for people the way we are meant to. Life happens in the present.
I’d like to invite you now to watch a very short snippet from one of my favorites films, Peaceful Warrior. Nick Nolte plays a sort of spiritual mentor to a very accomplished young adult named Dan who is holding himself back from being his greatest self…