This was the advice someone gave me. Someone I respect – and love – a lot. It seems like good advice. Quite good advice.
I can get caught in my own head. I can go down the rabbit-hole of thinking – some might say obsessing – on the things that are bothering me or the problems I’m trying to solve or the people I need to please.
The problem is (or one of the problems is) that I can be too easily bothered or too stubbornly trying to solve problems or too eagerly trying to please. I learned at a young age that I needed (or so I thought) to solve problems and please people. That I needed (or so I thought) to be on constant alert and that I had (or so I thought) the responsibility and power to solve and to please.
And with this constant alert and need to solve and please, I can invent bothers and problems and people who may need pleasing way too easily.
Way too easily.
So my dear confidante suggested I stop thinking…well I suggested I stop thinking. This person suggested I stay in the moment and enjoy my life. Which seemed like a magnificent suggestion.
Now, mind you, I suggest this to people all the time. To myself. To my friends. To my family. To my clients. But it seemed radical and mind-blowing when my dear confidante suggested it to me.
I’ve gotten better at catching myself as I slip down the hole (or after I’ve slipped down the hole) and at redirecting my thoughts. I “pick up my brain and put it somewhere else,” as I recommend to others. I ask myself how soothing the thought I’m thinking at the moment is, and when my answer to myself is, “not so much,” I think about something that puts a smile on my face – or I simply put a smile on my face. I look at the sky or breathe in the fresh air.
I put myself back in the moment, and I enjoy my life.
It is so easy to get caught in what I, decades ago, learned to call “stinking thinking.” It is a slippery slope where one moment you (I) think you are (I am) being useful or resourceful or strong or sweet, and the next moment you (I) realize many moments have passed and you’ve (I’ve) been stuck in a nasty loop of nasty thoughts and feelings.
As someone reminded me recently, and as I remind others often (and probably a bit annoyingly), we have a choice over what we think…and therefore we can influence how we feel.
I have a choice whether I’ll worry about that thing that’s worrying me or whether I’ll breathe deeply and bask in the sunshine. I have a choice whether I’ll get stuck in stinking thinking or whether I’ll replace those thoughts with ones that soothe me and bring a smile to my face.
I have a choice if I’ll choose to be in the moment and enjoy my life.
How are you being in the moment and enjoying your life?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!