The right path is not profound. It’s right here, right now.

I have taken a few weeks off writing to be more present with my daughter, in particular, in her last summer before Kindergarten.  We have traveled, played, swam, picked veggies from the garden, sang songs, had dance parties, spent time with family and friends…just regular summertime fun – nothing profound.  But I know the impact will be.

Admittedly, taking myself away from my laptop screen to honor this fleeting time with her has been agonizing at times.  I think constantly about how I should be writing, posting, connecting and creating.  All just a self-inflicted pressure to keep 10 balls in the air at once.  It’s a pace I’ve kept for decades and seems to be the only way I know how to operate anymore.  But, I do know better, and am trying to do better. 

I’m sure this is familiar to many people.  We have an inability these days to disconnect and be truly present without racing thoughts, nagging guilt, or pinging devices.  I get enraged when I’m trying to have a conversation with someone and they can’t put their phone down…but ironically, I’m guilty of the same behavior.  People in glass houses…

There is a consistent theme in so many wellness practices be it yoga, meditation, spirituality, positive relationships and even eating: be present.  It’s not profound.  It’s not historic.  It’s not future-leaning.  It’s now.  Right effing now.  Why is that so hard? 

One of my favorite books to give out to team members I worked with is called, “Fish! A proven way to boost morale and get results.” which notes that being present is 1 of the 4 key attributes of the successful fishmongers at the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle.  In doing so, they strengthen relationships and communication with customers and colleagues and drive droves of people to a place that would otherwise be just another cold, smelly fish market. It’s not profound…it’s basic respect.  But somehow we forget it too often. 

I also love the song, “No Day But Today” from the Broadway show RENT:

There’s only us, there’s only this

Forget regret, or life is your’s to miss

No other path, no other way

No day but today

There’s only us, only tonight

We must let go to know what’s right

No other road, No other way

No day but today

I can’t control my destiny

I trust my soul, my only goal

Is just to be

There’s only now, there’s only here

Give in to love or live in fear

No other path, No other way

No day but today

There’s only us, There’s only this

There’s only us, There’s only this

Forget regret, or life is your’s to miss

No other road, no other way 

No day but today…

But there’s plenty more songs and books about “The Power of Now” where that came from.  It’s definitely a proven concept.

So let’s hang up our to-do list at the door for now.  Let’s put our phones down more often (if you’re a numbers person, try to make a measurable reduction in your screen time stats kept on your iPhone.)  Let’s truly listen and be heard.  Let’s take the time to cook at home and really taste and chew our food (it actually does help with digestion.)  Let’s practice self-care with devoted time in a quiet space to experience peace and clarity (reducing your cortisol – a possible byproduct – is important for health and longevity.)  Let’s play, sing and dance with our kids.  Let’s take the time to write an old-fashioned letter to a friend that could use some thoughts of support and positivity from you.  After all, there’s no day but today.

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