How often are we not in the present moment? How much time do we spend thinking about the past or the future, so much so that we miss life as it is happening? The other night I was feeding my daughter and feeling the pull of the phone/web, but fought that urge and just watched her eat and then afterwards just enjoy the smiles and watch her interact with her surroundings. I tried not to think about anything, just watch. I fought the urge to document another moment with my camera phone, just watched her grab at a towel that was just within her reach. She grabbed it and started to play peek-a-boo all on her own. Everything for her is new and interesting.
One of my favorite pieces of scripture is from the book of Matthew Chapter 6:
34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
So much of our time and energy is wasted thinking and worrying about what might happen. To put the above scripture in context Jesus is teaching that God will provide those things we need and that our focus should be on today. If we waste energy worrying about tomorrow we won’t be able to accomplish what we need to today. Another way to look at it is stay in the present moment. Maybe that is something you might have a hard time doing. I know I did and sometimes still do. Staying in the present moment can lead to better sport performance, better job performance, being a better dad (see above) and being a better husband. Being able to stay in the moment does however take some practice. Our mind wanders every 8 seconds or so.
Thinking too much about the future or the past can also get you out of balance. Too much “worrying about tomorrow” has some pretty serious effects on your health if you do it all the time. The side effects of too much adrenaline and cortisol flowing through your body can affect how your body heals itself, loss of sleep, and other not so great things. I like being in my head and to think. It has suited me well over the years, but the dark side to all that thinking is that it was hard to turn my brain off. Since I started practicing the Balanced Breathing I find it is easier to turn my mind off. It also has allowed me to focus better. Plus being balanced brings you immune system back online. There are times to let stress in to mobilize and deal with life, but there are also times to place what you can’t control in God’s hands.
15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength. But you would not,
I purposefully didn’t want to rush this post to press and its taken me over a week to finally finish. Too many times I write too fast with a half-baked idea just to get something done and out there only to read it later with some regret. Often we are not our best when we get rushed in our jobs, in sports, or in life. So what I am advocating is enjoying the present moment no matter the moment. As a parent of a child, you know they grow up fast and you are going to miss those moments once they are gone. Soak them up in all their richness and in the process you just might bring a little more balance in to your life.