Do me a quick favor.
Really take a moment, right now, and stop. Forcefully hit pause on the million things running through your brain. Commit to this moment. Check-in with yourself.
How are you feeling? Where are you carrying pressure and tension? Roll your head, neck, and shoulders. Wiggle your fingers and your jaw. Stretch your back, arms, and legs. Really feel your body. Take those deep breaths you’re probably tired of hearing everyone tell you to take. But really, take those deep breaths- they are an immense help.
This moment matters.
Today matters. Yesterday is already gone, and tomorrow isn’t a guarantee.
This is an important life philosophy I’ve been talking about more and more in my practice over the past few years. It might sound dramatic, but I’ve found that it’s really important to connect to the idea that we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow or next year. We all hope we get to live long, happy, healthy lives, but it’s not a promise to any of us.
Thinking about the future is normal. Thinking about the past is healthy when you’re doing it to heal and to connect the dots to existing patterns.
There is only one day that really matters though, and that is today. Today is here, and it’s in front of us. Today is the day we can make what we want and need. Not yesterday, not tomorrow. Today is the only day we can make the best of because it’s here.
Again, this isn’t to say that setting future goals is a waste of time. It’s not. Having goals helps make what we do today matter because small moments build over time to get us to that hopeful day in the future when we get something we want when we achieve a goal.
But we can’t make a year from now happen today.
What we can do is focus on today. Focus on the next hour. What do you need?
What do you want?
What choices can you make today?
What is one step you can make to one goal today?
Surrender to the next few moments in front of you. What do you need? What can you actually have some healthy control over?
Do you need water? Go drink some.
Do you need a few minutes outside? Make that happen before you go to bed.
Do you need five minutes to focus on a goal? Carve out that time.
Today is the day that matters. What can you do today?
It’s so easy in this current world that idolizes busyness to get over-focused on too many things, and thinking too much about tomorrow, next week, and beyond. Yes, you might have to call the dentist today and schedule something a few weeks out, or write an event into your calendar. Maybe you’re needing to book a vacation and have to think forward to when you can make it happen.
I’m not talking about those moments. I’m talking about how easy it is to let our brains run free with worry and anxiety about future events. When we focus on the present day and what we can do today, it lessens the hold that anxiety holds over us. Not to say that anxieties won’t still be there, but when we commit to the moment in front of us, it’s a lot harder to spiral through the billion what if’s of the future.
If you find yourself getting caught up in that riptide of what if’s, imagine that you’re slamming on the brakes with both feet. Stop. Breathe. Connect in.
“What can I do with this moment? What can I do today?”
I highly encourage you to try this for a few weeks and see what a difference it makes.
I promise it does make a difference.