It is the last day of 2016, and I reflect on the last 12 months. I notice that in general we highlight our accomplishments, gloss quickly over the moments when we made less than optimal choices, and focus on what is next. Today is also the day that all are encouraged and expected to make resolutions for the New Year. Media tells us to lose weight, save more money and get organized. What is rarely discussed is gratitude for the step you are currently on with regards to your life goal.
In the past I tended to stay focused on what I wanted to achieve. While, I was guilty of forgetting to recognize something very important; gratitude for right NOW. For, the exact place I am today is someone else’s dream. Being so focused on the future, I’d neglected to honor the only thing that is real; the present moment. The past is gone and the future doesn’t exist yet. I have an idea of what I’d like to achieve in the future, but my goal is now more vague than the old ones used to be; authentic connection. Yet how that exactly will unfold or what it will include is the mystery. If I had continued to disregard the present I would have missed the wonderful joys of my life today.
Authentic connection showed up today in subtle ways that I would have quickly disregarded in the past; Connection and gratitude for my healthy body. My legs carried me up the steep trail to the summit of Sharp Top Mountain. My lungs took in the fresh air. My heart beat loud enough for me to hear it in my ears. My eyes took in the beauty of Mother Nature. Most importantly, my arms wrapped around the side of a tree while I recited what trees have taught me to do; dig deep into the core for nutrients and stretch to the light for growth. Those simple connections are the dream of someone with poor or fading health. So I stop whining about my cold fingers and sore muscles. For the whining stops the gratitude moves in and expands.
Many of us are in a place that we may not be overjoyed about. Is your current place getting you to where you want to go? If not, have the courage to make a change. If so, then yes you are doing what you need to right now. Either way add gratitude. My beloved daughter is in that strange place between student and adult. She is working in her field but not at her final destination. It is interesting to watch as she navigates this step in her journey. She is grateful for the step, but at the same time is struggling to trust the process while continuing to forward with confidence. I remember being in that place many times in my adult life. Hell, I was just there in early 2016 when I was job searching.
Along my hike today, authentic connection also showed up in a different way. I allowed myself to fully feel in each moment that I am happy, healthy, peaceful, and free. I remember that I am accepted by those who matter, I forgive myself in a way I never imagined possible, and I love myself more today than I did yesterday. I realized that where I am today emotionally, physically and spiritually was my dream 20+ years ago, I just didn’t know how to put it into words. I can’t wait to see what is next for all of us in 2017.