Often times we find ourselves putting off the idea of enjoying our lives fully until such-and-such happens, or when so-and-so sweeps in to save us from our current life. And let’s not forget the ever-popular, waiting for a glorious knight or queen to appear out of nowhere.
But hey, that’s the stuff that fairy tales are made of, right? In the real world, all we’re really guaranteed to have is right here, right now. So why not learn to love your life in this instant, instead of planning to celebrate when something better happens? You’re here! That’s reason enough to be happy. Now make the most of it – with or without royalty.
Fiction, fantasy or reality
Harry Potter is fantastic. So is Sex in the City, and Entourage – as entertainment, that is. Not as models for living your life. Reality TV aside, “reality” should reign. Why, you ask? Because it’s real, it’s experiential, and it is the one thing you can count on right now. While it’s easy to get sucked into the “idea” of a perfect life – you know, the one you aspire to, read about and dream of – that doesn’t work for embracing the moment. Especially when you start pontificating or obsessing about the “what if…” scenarios. These only convince you that all that jazz is a lot better than where you are in the present. Stop yourself from even going there in your head… before you float too far downstream.
You can’t cuddle with a fantasy, nor can you have stimulating conversation with your TV. Feeding your fantasy and fiction needs at the local Barnes and Noble is one thing, but when those urges get in the way of enjoying your “real” life, it’s another matter entirely. If your life somehow feels like it doesn’t measure up to the glamorous ideal you aspire to, it’s time to turn off the boob tube, shut the glossy magazines and close your titillating novels. Waiting for your ideal ship to come in can mean a long and lonely wait, especially if it is at the expense of embracing “the now.”
Are you where you are? Or dreaming about where you hope to be? Find out by answering these questions:
- Do you walk into a party, pan the room, and look for Mr./Ms. Right? When they don’t appear, do you begin trolling websites on your iPhone, looking for the next “singles” event you can wedge yourself into, because this party is the pits?
- On the day after landing your dream job, do you kick yourself for not asking for more money when you had the chance? Maybe you panic because your “dream” gig just turned into a dead-end job overnight, and then dive onto Monster.com to score a better one, stat!
- Do you amp yourself up for a night on the town weeks before you head out the door, then, once you’re at that hot new club, decide it is not quite hot enough – so you leave the scene swiftly and start searching for the next “it” place?
- Have you been called a dreamer one too many times?
- Do you cry when you see happily married people walking down the street, because you and your squeeze have not committed to life-long status yet? After all, you’ve got a rock-solid future, but maybe you could do better… ?
- Are you constantly seeking out, sometimes maniacally, life’s next buzz?
If you answered “yes” to just one of the above, or even flinched reading about it – it might be time for a little lesson in learning to love your life.
Stop, live and love
Take these steps to live in the now…
- “One day at a time” is not just for those suffering from addictions anymore. It’s a mindset and way of life that everyone can benefit from – because it keeps you present. You can’t change the past, and you really can’t influence your future – but what you can do is make the present moment a good one.
- Stop running, and start standing still. Notice and revel in what you’re feeling right now. Maybe it’s great, maybe it’s not, but regardless what the feelings are, they will pass soon enough – so embrace them.
- Wake up. Pick one thing that you love today. Maybe you and your hair woke up on the right side of the bed. The sun is shining, you still have a job, the dog isn’t barking, the kids aren’t crying, you have love in your life, the mail was delivered on time – whatever it is, big or small, notice the good that sits before you. If you can’t come up with anything, choose to enjoy the still and calm nature of the moment.
- Embrace your body. It is who you are, and it and you are fabulous exactly as you are.
- Love something – anything, anyone.
- Smile. Breath. Repeat. It’s contagious!
Be happy in the shoes you are wearing. Embrace your place in life. Love yourself – now. Reality is good, exciting, tumultuous, exhilarating and infuriating. In all of its intensity, life is what you make it. Remember, it’s up to you – in one simple choice.
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