“The joy of living is the gratitude of the moment.”
Lailah Gifty Akita
I’ve just competed one of the most heart-opening trips I’ve ever done. For the past two weeks I have been in Nepal spending most of my time walking the Annapurna Base Camp Trek via Poonhill. The trip was an opportunity to see a new country, challenge myself physically and spend time with a friend that I haven’t seen in a while. But, the trip turned out to be so much more than that.
I have been practicing mindfulness for a long time and have lived the benefits of holding myself in the moment. This incredible trip gifted me the wonderful present of presence – on a level that surpasses anything I’ve experienced before. Being truly in the moment, without past or future. Surrendering myself completely to the NOW!
Intellectually, I have understood the concept that the present moment is the only moment that exists; and therefore, living in any moment other than the present is a waste of precious living. It is only in living in complete awareness of the moment that we’re in, that we can experience that joy of that moment. But instead we are often trapped into dwelling on the past or worrying about the future; neither of which exist. While we can learn from the past; and we can prepare for the future, it should never be all consuming that we forget the present. The present moment should be where our attention is primarily focused.
This was really driven home for me as I was walking up and down the mountainsides of the Annapurnas. Being far away from friends, family, technology, modern life; focusing on the immediate task of placing one foot in front of the other; created a beautiful space in which my heart and my head was able to wander in any direction. The walking was at first was challenging but eventually became meditative. This open-hearted and clear-headed space that was created landed up reaping a number of benefits for me: worry left me; fear left me; boundaries and limitation left me. Difficult decisions suddenly became really clear. My creative juices started flowing and new ideas and inspiration came to me. Most importantly, despite the pain that I was feeling in my calves and quads from all the walking up and down, I was experiencing exquisite joy; real ecstasy in the quiet of the mountains.
Now obviously it isn’t practical to go to the mountains daily to achieve this sense of presence; but it is achievable in our everyday lives.
Watch Episode 11 of The Flying Phoenix’s Weekly Facebook Live Broadcast and find out about some of the specific steps I took. (Due to technical issues at the time of broadcast, some of the audio isn’t clear.)
What are your thoughts?
I would love to hear from you. What has your experience been with this topic? Do you have some tips or strategies in addition to the one’s mentioned above? Maybe you have a burning question? Perhaps you have the solution to someone else’s question.
The best growth and learning comes from engagement and sharing, please comment below and share your thoughts, questions and personal experiences.