How many of us really live in the here and now, not dwelling in the past or worrying about the future, just living in this time, this moment? All of us get caught up in stress, in worry, in imagining all of the hundreds and thousands of things that have either happened to us or might happen someday. That stress and that worry can drive us crazy and lead us down paths of very unhealthy and unhappy living.
I know I can easily fall into the “whys?” and the “what ifs?” of life. Why did this or that have to happen to me? What if something awful happens in the future? Why did I make that stupid decision years ago? What if I can’t make things work out in a year or two or three? And on and on the list of obsessive negative thoughts can go.
One of the magically wonderful things that happened for me when I first dropped into Cuckoo Luckoo Land 17 months ago, and for most of my steps forward since then, is that I made the choice to pretty radically live in this time, this moment. The personal knowledge that life truly and completely can change in the blink of an eye led me to commit to living a Year of Yes. How could I focus just on thinking about the past or the future when I learned to the depths of my being that I can’t control the past and I definitely don’t know how much of a future any of us really has.
I wrote the day before Russell died of my desire and commitment to living in the now. I have been learning how to stay in every single moment finding gratitude for the littlest of things. It is much easier to abide in Hope if I stay right here, right now, being simply happy for the little achievements. It’s not an avoiding scary possibilities or avoiding learning more, it is simply not letting those scarier things take hostage of my brain and soul
That commitment has extended beyond the first year of living without Russell. I have set new habits for myself and find it easier than every before to move myself back into a Now Focus, even if I find myself spinning out about the whys? and what ifs? I anticipate that this new habit of Living in a Yes to Now will continue in some way, shape, or form for the rest of my life. There is profound joy and peace that can be found in staying in this time, this moment.
At the beginning time of this commitment to the now I made choices to invest in things out of pure need for myself and for my kids. Saying yes to things that made us feel some joy, some hope, some peace has been fairly easy to do. As I begin to experience a new awakening, an unfurling of my wings, and an unfolding of my dreams it becomes clearer how these early investment choices have been so critical to my healing.
First and foremost, I made the choice to make my number one priority self-care for myself and my children. Anything that is a potential path to healing our wounded hearts gets a quick and forceful yes. Counseling, massages, chiropractor, yoga, YMCA membership, spending time with family and friends, good food, and anything else that feeds our souls and our bodies we say yes to. We are learning to listen carefully to the quiet workings of our inner self, saying yes to the things that feel right to us. Healing our hearts, while caring for bodies and spirits has been one of the best decisions I’ve made.
Second, I have encouraged us all to say Yes to a variety of adventures. There have been camps, trips with friends, trips with family, new classes, horse shows, new instruments, my mentorship, and so much more we have said yes to. As we explore new dreams, new ideas, new hopes for our lives I see each of us become a little more strong, a little more balanced and a little more at peace. We’ve each done more traveling and said yes to more new things in our lives than in many previous years combined. Adventuring with each other, with friends and with family has brought great joy to our lives. There’s a surrealness in not being able to share our adventures with Russell. More importantly I feel immense gratitude for the new things we’ve all experienced and the people we’ve been to share them with.
Third, I chose very early on to say Yes to new things at Avalon. Only in the last few days as deeper unfolding of my dreams for the farm and completion of projects is occurring have I realized why I’ve made some of the decisions to invest (both my time and my personal money) in the ways that I have in the past year and a half. There are so many dreams, from early childhood through all of my life up to the present, that are twined in and around themselves in connection to Avalon. I know I have much more to write about this web of dreaming. For now, in this time and in this moment, I simply, finally know why I’ve made the decisions I have made for the farm. I couldn’t bear the thought of one more thing so intimately connected to my heart and to my core self dying. The Magic of all that Avalon is and all that it can still become has had to survive with me. I’ve needed it to survive for me and for the community who have been part of my healing web.
As much as I sometimes wonder if I should have, could have done many things in the past differently, I am 100% confident that the choices for healing, for adventuring, for dreaming that I have made this past year were all the best things I could have done for myself and my kids. I will continue striving to say Yes to Now, to living in this time and in this moment. I will continue to encourage my children, as well as all who cross my path, to make similar choices. If all we can really be sure of is this very moment we are in don’t we all want to have that moment be one filled with joy, love, gratitude and the awareness that we are listening to what our hearts are saying yes to?
I end this writing with the same mantra I did almost 17 months ago. It is just as true for me today as it was back then.