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Be Happy - Choose Now
June 23, 2004
by Debbie Gisonni

Whenever I watch my dogs lying around, I can't help but wonder what they're thinking, or if they're thinking at all. We humans tend to spend a lot of time thinking. Mostly about what has already happened or what we think might happen, rather than what is happening right now. Even as I write this, I'm thinking about how I'm going to cook the salmon for dinner later this evening. All this time spent in the past and future leaves little or no time for the present, which is the only time that really matters.

I've lived most of my life hurrying to get to whatever was next on the agenda. Even as far back as grammar school, I could remember memorizing all the answers in the Highlights books, so by the time I was in 3rd grade, I was reading the 5th grader's edition. I don't know why I was in such a rush to finish. Certainly, no one was pushing me to advance at that pace; however, I did receive kudos for doing so. On the other hand, by barreling through the lessons so fast, I didn't learn much of anything-or at least anything I could remember the next day. This pattern would continue well into my adult years. For example, I had no desire to sink my teeth into college culture when my only goal was to graduate, so I doubled up my classes and finished early. That got me an extra year in the oh so fun New York City commuter rat race. Then in business, I became one of the youngest women in the high-tech industry to run a magazine. That got me an all-consuming job, an eighty percent travel schedule, and an education on what not to do for personal health and wellness. Looking back, it's all a big blur of images, like sticking your head out the window of a speeding car. I was moving too fast to notice the scenery along the way or to enjoy the journey. I only remember the final destinations.

Sometimes it takes a catastrophe to force you to stop and be present. When you have to drive your car through a heavy snowstorm, you can't help but pay attention to every bump and slide. Normally, you're driving in auto pilot, while your mind is working overtime. "How late will this traffic make me? I need to pick up Ryan from his basketball game. What am I making for dinner?" Life is in its most perfect state when you are present in every moment. Living in the past or future, as we often do, only serves to drain your spirit. You can't change what has happened, nor can you worry about what hasn't happened yet.

So, instead of living in the land of "I could've, should've, would've" or "what if," try living in the land of "I am," because now is the only moment you can affect and enjoy.

Five ways to choose now in your life:

  • Stop and notice every detail in the backdrop of your daily life color, smell, people.
  • Savor each moment in life. Like snowflakes, no two are the same.
  • Good or bad, keep the past in the past.
  • Stop worrying about what you can't change or don't know.
  • Concentrate on one thing-whatever you're doing or saying at this very moment.

Copyright © 2003 Debbie Gisonni, All Rights Reserved.

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