Have you ever watched your children and notice how they interact with the world around them? They are connected and living in the moment. Oh, how I wish for this feeling back, when time was just numbers on a clock. As a child I remember feeling a deeper connection to the world. I noticed things that eventually became unnoticeable like a bee on a flower, or a puddle on a road. As a child, it’s not just noticing the things around you, but actually seeing and appreciating them. This was living in the moment. No worries, no distractions, just what was right in front of you.
As I grew into an adult and took on more responsibilities along came more distractions. I had found that I was becoming less happy. Yes, I was gaining much more – more assets, more respect, more knowledge, and so on. But at what cost? It became clear to me that I must be losing things as well. With more distractions came less time for myself, more scatter-brained thinking, and much less living in the moment. Instead of noticing that bee on the flower, I was thinking about money that needed to be saved, bills to be paid, or even what I was going to make for dinner.
I’ve always believed life needs to be enjoyed and not meant to be filled with distractions. Why distract ourselves from the true beauty that is life? Think about this for a moment: how special are we to be here. Our life is not a given, it is a gift. I know for me, I don’t want to spend it with eyes closed. Life is beautiful. We just need to take more time to realize and truly appreciate it.
The Wheel of Life
With this in mind, I remembered back in my school days, filling in a life balance wheel, or a “wheel of life”. It is a wheel that is split into different categories. Some of the common ones are: health, spirituality, personal development, work, social life and family. You fill in each category and it uncovers where you may be lacking or over extending. Finding this balance really is one of life’s greatest lessons! So, go online, print out a balance wheel, or just draw one out, and see if you are living up to your values.
For me, I had a realization in what I like to call my gratitude attacks, where I get this overwhelming sense of perfection in my life or an intense feeling of happiness and appreciation. What was different in these moments that wasn’t always there? Lightbulb! In these moments my wheel was balanced.
Based on what I had in those moments, I started making changes. For me it looked a little like this: work less and spend more time with my family, travel and experience the world, relax more, spend more time alone, learn to live with less (I have found with less comes more), spend more time outdoors and many more.
Believe me, I am no expert at living in the moment, this truly is one of the hardest things to achieve. But, I can say I have made many changes that have made my life amazing. My life is full and my wheel is, well… mostly balanced. It is an ongoing challenge that takes work! And I will work at it for the rest of my life because that is how important my happiness is.
– Jessie Slorstad, RMT