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Building an attitude of Presence for the New Year

Let’s welcome 2023 by building an attitude of presence for the New Year. For me, 2022 was one of the busiest years I’ve ever experienced. How did that happen? Don’t we slow down as we get older?

Nope! I’ve heard many clients talk about how they got busier in the years after children left home or during retirement. Now I’m living it! As 2022 passed, I realized I was bouncing from duty to duty without my usual joy. I was also missing being fully present in some of the moments most important to me and my family. My mind was always wandering into what I needed to be working on next. The realization that I wasn’t being fully present in tasks and events, pointed to a priority for 2023 - cultivating an attitude of presence. What does that look like to me and what ideas do I suggest for you?

Learn to calm our minds. With the turmoil of the last 3 years, I’ve found my mind is racing ahead most of the time these days. I’m trying to think from all angles and anticipate. That doesn’t always work well. Some things are easy to anticipate and others are not. Grocery lists and household needs are easy. Anticipating business disruption or shifts in today’s political and social climate is not. Calming our minds means in part, learning to shut down speculation and focusing on what we know to be concrete. In other words, dealing with what truly is in front of us, not what we’re anticipating.

Here are some of the ways I’m calming my mind:

  • Creating an evening slow-down time and a bedtime routine that distracts my mind from the busy activities of work hours. I’m using a Hatch clock to listen to ocean waves. I’m always asleep before the sound stops. I’ve used the morning light routine on my Hatch for a while now but had not created a sleep routine. I’m loving it!

  • Focusing on getting my prayer and devotional time back to a more consistent routine. I faithfully pray during the day but have not been as good

Reorganize priorities and block schedule more activities. Personally, I let some activities manage me instead of me managing them. I need to do better at this in 2023 in order to be present in each area of my life. Here are some of the tweaks I’m starting with to accomplish this goal.

  • Making some office furnishings change to accommodate more frequent, quick meetings with family and business associates. I’m involved in multiple entities and business interests. The only way to keep moving forward at this point is to enlist more help from others and have time with them to coordinate our efforts.

  • Forcing myself to put my smartphone aside more often! Oh, do we all just love our smartphones! They are great tools, but they keep us in the mindset that we need to answer every call, text, or notification instantly. Not so. We can’t be present if we are constantly looking at a device in our hands.

While these things may sound simply like organizing and taking better care of myself, I return to the original desire and topic of today’s blog post - cultivating an attitude of presence. Have you noticed how when you’re busy, overwhelmed, and run ragged, your mind doesn’t work as well and your focus is scattered? Being able to have an attitude of presence relates directly to how activities and obligations are being met in our daily lives. When daily activities flow in an organized and productive manner, presence in the moment becomes much easier. Anticipation of what’s to come and regrets about what’s behind both slip away.

As this relates to being a grandparent, we must ever be aware of the passage of time. Several of our Grands are getting close to looking us eye to eye. They grow quickly and these formative years go by even faster than they did with our own children. We want to be present for as much as we can while they are young! I know you do and so do I. I missed too much last year. 2023 will be different if I choose to make a difference and focus on presence in the moment for all things.

How do you maintain an attitude of being present?


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