This morning I woke up filled with worry about things that haven’t even occurred yet. You know what I’m talking about. Those thoughts that distract you with what may—but probably won’t—happen next week or next month or next year (next year being on my mind because it’s only six weeks away).
Will I be able to weasel my way out of going to youngest son’s house tomorrow to help hang doors, because really, at this stage of the rebuild, I’m mostly standing around taking up space until we get to the cleaning stage.
Will I be able to fit in a quick vacuum next week?
A visit to my mother?
PANIC…there’s no edible food in the house! (which may or may not include red licorice…just saying.)
Then I remembered Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now which is all about living in the moment. With a vow to focus on one thing at a time today, I pushed my worries away, climbed out of bed, got ready for the day, and grabbed my first cup of coffee. As I set the full cup on my desk, the cup caught the edge of something and in an instant, coffee spilled everywhere.
Okay, so I hadn’t really been focused on setting the cup down. And I hadn’t really been all that enthused about working today…
For the next hour, I wiped coffee from the carpet, the chair mat, under the desk, on top of the desk, inside the desk drawers, off my papers, my sticky notes, my keyboard, and every nook and cranny in-between. For the first time since I woke, I was totally focused on the moment.
There’s something powerful about complete and total focus. It lifts the spirit and sets it on fire. It makes the passage of time unnoticeable. It brings enlightenment out of the dark.
I have a practice of sitting still and quiet for five minutes before I get down to the writing each day. Well, actually it’s less of a “practice” and more of a “I really need to do this every day” wishful thought. But when I manage to discipline myself enough to practice mindful meditation for several days in a row, I quickly notice that I’m more focused and I have less “interruptions”. It’s like the universe recognizes my mindfulness and rewards it with stressless and productive days.
Do you have a technique that helps you focus on the here and now? Or are you often unmindful—and therefore clumsy and scattered—like I tend to be when I let my mindful practice go? Let me know in the comments. I love to hear from you!
Last weekend, we celebrated the Canadian Thanksgiving. My brother and his beautiful wife hosted the event, and we celebrated with lots of good company and good food.
Thanksgiving Day is a reminder to be grateful, and when so much bad happens in our world, it’s important to remember to be thankful. And yet, gratitude is easily pushed aside by the busyness of every day life.
What I know for certain about gratitude is that I’m fortunate to be filled with it.
1. I’m grateful for my family and friends who have always supported me on my writing journey…my husband and boys and oldest’s beautiful girlfriend who listen to my plotting woes and celebrate my writing victories; my parents who gave me the gift of life and encouraged my dreams; my brother, his lovely wife, and my three sisters who give me glimpses into their lives that occasionally <gasp!> find their way into my stories and characters; my friends who read my books, tell me how wonderful they are, and love me enough to point out the errors within the pages.
2. I’m grateful for an overactive imagination—sometimes too overactive—that allows me to daydream about possibilities, and come up with plots and characters that keep me entertained.
3. I’m grateful for this job that I love. I get to make things up, wear pjs to work, and the furthest I have to commute is across the hallway.
4. I’m grateful for today’s technology which keeps me connected to my family and friends no matter where I am, and has allowed me to be the CEO of my own publishing empire.
5. And finally, I’m grateful for the readers who read my books. Your kind words keep me working, even on the days when I’d rather scrub the floor with a toothbrush than face the challenges of unraveling a muddled first draft.
I’m a September baby, which means that my favorite time of the year is the fall. It’s the time of year when life settles out. The kids go back to school. The garden gets pulled out and cleaned up. The flowerbeds get one last trim before the winter freeze sets in.
And everything slows down to a snail’s pace again. There’s time to breathe, time to sit and reflect, time for just me.
In our fast paced world, we like to cram every moment with busyness. It makes us feel productive, worthwhile, important. I know because I’ve been there, done that, tried to be the center of the universe for everyone but myself.
What I know for certain is that time never stands still, but we can. So grab a few precious moments from your day to enjoy your guilty pleasure, whatever it is. Relax in a hot bath. Read a great book (and may I recommend one from here?). Or stare at the ceiling and simply let your mind drift where it will.
This time is your gift to yourself. Enjoy it always.
Looking for the perfect beach read? Then I highly recommend 🙂 the newest release in the Caught Between series!
Stephanie Goodwin has never met a prince who didn’t turn out to be a frog, but she’s never allowed her personal feelings about men and relationships to interfere with her job as a wedding planner. Instead, she focuses on giving her clients their dream wedding, a magical day to get them through the trials and tribulations of the years ahead—before everything turns to dust.
Hotshot divorce lawyer, Stone Kincaid, has an aversion to marriage. His experience has taught him that wedding vows only lead to a broken heart that never really heals and an empty bank account. But when he returns to his family’s Serendipity Island estate to stop his irresponsible sister’s wedding, he encounters the wedding planner from hell—the gorgeous, sexy woman he met and bedded a month ago.
Can a woman with a history of picking the wrong kind of guy find a forever kind of love with a man who fears commitment almost as much as she does?
This story includes a marriage-phobic wedding planner, a hunky divorce lawyer whose attitude toward wedded bliss—and family—is about to change, one really big OOPS, afternoon naughtiness, peanut butter cookies, messy family relationships, and a battle-of-the-sexes secondary romance.
Want to take a behind-the-scenes peek at my writerly life? I’m over at Cheryl Cooke Harrington’s Stillpoint blog today with pictures of my office and a look at what I’m working on now. Come say hello so I’m not lonely!