Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Yesterday and Tomorrow


Ignore the Past and Forget About the Future!

Yes, we can learn from our mistakes and we can make plans with the future in mind; however, how often do we actually live in the moment? How often is each moment filled with past and future concerns?

Consider "tabling" fears, regrets, and worry for another time. Concentrate on what's going on right now, right in front of you. If you do that, you can certainly learn quite a bit about yourself including whether or not you are doing what you want to be doing. 

I often encourage my students to seriously contemplate the existential idea of living in the moment with death on your shoulder. If you knew you would die tomorrow, next week, next month, next year...would you still be doing what you're doing now? If not why not? Are those things worth eliminating from you life? Or at the very least, changing?

The exercise is not meant to be a morbid one, but to encourage each student to understand that their time is finite and that they do not know when the end will come. Living each day with this understanding and awareness will nearly guarantee you will only including things in your life that are necessary (i.e., having a job) and that you want. And even the necessary things can be reconsidered in terms of what you want from life. 

Do you really hate your job? If so, why not actively look for something new? Is going to college really a good fit for you? If not, what would be a better fit? 

If I knew I had months or even just a handful of years left I would probably keep working. I like what I do and it fuels me psychologically. I also have a decent chunk of time off (I'm a university professor) so I would be able to use (and I do!) that time for whatever I want. There are other things, however, that I would immediately get rid of. At this point, I want to fulfill my commitments, but the things I know I want to get rid of will be gotten rid of as soon as I can...and they will not be replaced. And when "opportunities" like this are offered to me in the future my plan is to answer the questions "Is this how I want to spend my time? What will I have to give up to do this? Is it worth it?" 

This is, in my opinion, a highly useful but not necessarily easy exercise. It can help you stay connected to each moment as they are happening and forget about the past and the future.

Here's to the here-and-now!

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I'm Back - I Think.

It has been a long  time since I've published a post. For those of you who have enjoyed my posts (thanks for that!) and have been wondering when the next would be published, this one's for you!

I don't have anything terribly profound to say this go around as I've got to reconnect with the blog mentally. I'm happy to say that I have been attending to things that are important to me and that I have enjoyed. However, there have also been a few things that have required a lot more of my attention that I don't particularly enjoy or want in my life any longer. These things have an expiration date and I plan not to renew! 

I am still learning when to say no to things and I am still learning what truly makes me happy - what I mean by that is there are things I take on that I think will contribute to my overall happiness only to find that I was wrong. That's okay. That's part of the process. But it can be frustrating, especially when these things involve a lengthy commitment. 

This blog is as much a reminder to readers to remain true to one's self as it is to me. I'm a lot further along on this journey than I ever have been, but I've still got some travelling to do. I'm not sure there really is a final destination. As long as we remain open to the voice inside us that has some ideas about what we want and don't want in our lives we'll keep travelling and we'll keep learning.

As for me, right now, my plan is to be sure I've got time carved out for this blog. I really do enjoy writing for it and sharing my ideas. Thanks for sticking around and as always please comment below or send me an e-mail (doctorchristineselby at gmail dot com).

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