Present.  A gift to myself for the new year.  More valuable than anything I could buy, and more costly.  My word for the year, present, has been more of a challenge than I initially anticipated.

I explained in my last blog that remaining in the present moment has always been a challenge for me.  I decided to embrace the word present for this year, without realizing what a massive undertaking it was going to be.  I discovered this week how infrequently my mind inhabits the same space as my body.

For example, I was lying awake in bed last night, running through my laundry list of worries.  As my mind drifted downstairs to our brand new refrigerator with the mysterious scratch on the front door (a byproduct of our New Year's Eve party no doubt), I decided to put the brakes on.   I used the mantra I have uttered what feels like a million times in the four days of the new year.  "In this moment everything is fine.  I am safe.  All is well."  Within minutes I drifted off to sleep.

I used the same approach while traveling to work on New Year's Day.  I sat in the back of the airplane, getting upset about something that had happened at home earlier.  I forced myself to look out the window at the sunset, and see the beauty of the present moment.  It was amazing to see the sun above the clouds, when minutes ago I had been in the murky overcast snowstorm on the earth's surface.  In that moment, everything was fine.  Had I continued my trip down worry lane into the past, I would have missed the beauty outside my window.

Trying to remain present has been a bit of an epiphany for me.  I knew that most of my worries focused on the "what if's" of the future and the "if only's" of the past.  What I didn't realize was how much of my life was consumed by these thoughts.  I have many projects lined up for this year, but staying present is the most important.  It is the project that can bring me the most immense growth, peace, and happiness.  Because in this moment, everything is just fine.

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