Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice - Learning to Live in the Now
days, it seems like we're always in a rush to get to the next big thing. It's
almost cliche at this point, but the yearly "pumpkin spice" craze is
a perfect example. We all started hearing about pumpkin spice lattes, muffins,
cakes, peanuts - you name it - in mid-August. It was still 85 degrees outside
when the first pumpkin spice latte posts started showing up on social media,
for crying out loud! Folks are soaking up the sun on the beach, and we were
already pushing for fall goodies. Don’t get me wrong, nobody is denying the
lovely warm cozies you get when you snuggle in with a pumpkin spice latte or
tea and a muffin, but not when it's clearly summertime.
This brings me to the question - Why can't we just live in the now and enjoy the moment of time we're in instead of looking at what's around the corner? Sometimes faaaaarrr around the corner? There were Christmas decorations out at some stores last week. Before Labor Day! Yeesh. I digress.
The intention here is not to be a stick-in-the-mud, because these fun, exciting, lovely things can help make life more enjoyable, and help to distract us from the "everyday-ness" of every day. They do bring a lot of joy and positive feelings, and that's amazing. Maybe that's why we're always pushing for the next big thing. Maybe we need the joy that comes from those feelings of belonging, warmth and togetherness. Are these symbols of things we love, therefore help us to feel connected to something?
Maybe we need to find joy in the moment - in the now - so that we’re not always looking ahead for joy, but finding it right in front of us at all times. Finding a balance between living in the now and being excited about little things in the future is an interesting challenge. That attractive distraction element is always there. Living in the now involves observing and feeling gratitude for where you are at the current moment. Really focusing on you and your surroundings in a productive way is a learned (and sometimes difficult) place to consistently be. Practice makes perfect in this scenario. Practicing gratitude and practicing that daily focus on the day itself helps you to get to a place of present living.
A great way to live in the now is to do things each day that you enjoy, then document those things in a gratitude journal.
Taking your bike out for a rejuvenating ride.
Enjoying a fun outing with the kids.
Meditate each day.
Find an activity that gets your body moving (i.e., sports, yoga, jogging, cycling, weight training).
Create amazing, healthy meals with your family.
Read a book.
Give your mind time to feel peace and simple joy.
Write it all down at the end of the day.
Write down what you’re grateful for each day and what that day meant to you. Observe what’s around you several times throughout the day, whether it be the birds singing, sun shining, cat purring, children laughing, or in a few weeks, when the snow is falling while you’re sipping your delicious pumpkin spice latte.