You can’t go back to how things were. How you thought they were. All you really have is…now.
~ Jay Asher
Last week I found myself getting quite irritated.
You know…that kind of irritation where nothing goes right.
Everywhere I looked I saw mess.
The kids caught colds. Our routine was off. And with the restless nights and lack of sleep, the whole family just seemed grouchy and…irritating. I felt trapped in a household of chaos, germs, laundry and dishes. My patience was becoming nonexistent.
So one night when the boys fell asleep, my husband enjoyed a nice evening walk around the lake and I went to bed early to journal and read. It was what we both needed to reboot from the ick-of-a-day.
And I read something in my Birthing From Within book that hit me. It said, “Make a commitment not to birth naturally, but to give it your all, moment-by-moment. Once you’ve done that, then you can be okay with whatever happens.”
Reading this reminded me that giving it your all, moment-by-moment, whether in birth or in everyday life, is about releasing expectations and judgment. It reminded me that I can still see the beauty – in the moment – even when things aren’t going my way.
As I made space to reflect on my day, I realized that those very expectations and judgments were my source of irritation, because my ego throughout the day was attaching to things that were out of my control.
It was my ego that wanted my routine back.
It was my ego that wanted more feedback from my kindergartener’s teacher.
It was my ego that wanted my kid to talk in class.
It was my ego that was attaching to the mess.
It was my ego that was creating resistance, distress and irritation in my day because it was expecting things to be…just so and in my control. And because the present moment was outside my expectations of what I felt it should be, my ego was kicking and screaming…The house isn’t how I like it and my sleep has been interrupted and the kids aren’t acting how I want them to and I’m not getting affirmation from the teacher and my kid isn’t talking in class and the teacher probably thinks I’m a bad mom and I did not want to spend my entire day washing clothes and making meals and cleaning up mess!
For me, living moment-by-moment helps me release expectations and judgments.
It reminds me that not everything is in my control. And that when it doesn’t go my way – hey…that’s ok! In fact, many times it turns out better that way.
Living moment-by-moment means surrendering to what IS. It’s about accepting the present moment, breathing through the things that happen unexpectedly and letting go.
Living moment-by-moment doesn’t mean not planning ahead. It doesn’t mean not setting goals or not being wise about your money or time or energy. It doesn’t mean flying by the seat of your pants. It’s more about present moment living. It’s about practicing being flexible with the changes.
We can make plans in the present moment. We can save for our future. We can live simply and not overspend or over-commit or overdramatize our lives. Everything we do in this moment helps create our future. So the more we practice living without expectations and judgments, the more in flow our lives become.
Living moment-by-moment is about accepting who people are and letting them be…them.
Living moment-by-moment is about accepting who you are and letting you be…YOU.
Living moment-by-moment is about dropping our egos, freeing our minds and opening our hearts.
My ego wants to be in control. It wants things to be just so!
But my heart knows that accepting what IS and finding gratitude each day (even when the kids are sick and the house is a mess and I’m exhausted) helps release my irritation so I can see the pure beauty that comes from living moment-by-moment.
Your Personal Reflection:
Practice releasing your own judgments and expectations of how you think things should be and instead embrace what IS. See how you feel when you give it your all, moment-by-moment.
*Photo by my love, Chris Duh.