Do you ever find yourself struggling with being present?
Maybe you're at work and while checking and responding to emails you are thinking about the meeting coming up at 10am and the yoga class you'll do a lunchtime and hoping you'll be able to leave on time to pick up your son from day care?
Or maybe you are in a new relationship and you're already planning your wedding venue, the names of your children and where you will buy your ideal home?
My own feelings in this area are tied to my inner perfectionist and my over eager mind that wants to project, plan and control the future. Rather than focusing on the present task at hand, my mind tries to do two things at once.
The other day I was sitting on the floor with my 10 month old son and he was laughing at me playing peek-a-boo - my son has the type of laugh that makes you want to laugh along. While one part of me was present with my son and enjoying myself, my mind was also thinking about what I'll need to prepare him for lunch and dinner, what I'll pack for him for our upcoming trip overseas, when I'll have time to do some shopping and take our dog for a walk.
Why couldn't I just focus on what I was doing and be 100% engaged with my son?
After many conversations with my girlfriends over the years, I've realised worrying about the future is an issue for many women. I see it as a way of trying to control our Iives by preparing for numerous future scenarios and contemplating the 'what ifs' - because let's face it, if you can get ready for every available scenario you'll never be left feeling vulnerable.
But as you and I both know - it is impossible to prepare for every possible future scenario and quite frankly - exhausting to even try.
I've found that women who worry about the future often try and create plans and contingencies for their lives - the classic 'five year plan' for instance.
Are you someone who has their whole life mapped out? With a timeline of when you'd 'make it' in your dream career, meet your life partner, buy a house, have children..
I was definitely one of these people, my life was mapped out in five year chunks with short-term, medium term and long-term goals. I was always busy, organised and so single minded in my determination to achieve my goals.
There came a time, however, when it became clear that the goals and plans I had made for myself where not really meant for me, and the singular focus on achieving these goals was not how I wanted to live my life. But more on that another time...
For now I'd like to share with you how I deal with my tendency of worrying about the future:
1. Realise I cannot control the future
Yes, I can prepare myself and create clear desires and intentions for what I'd like my life to be - but I am not able to control what happens - that's up to the universe.
2. Focus on the present
As I simply don't know what exciting, interesting, mundane or challenging things are going to happen in my future, all I can really focus my energies on is what's happening right now. And being present and experiencing my current reality in all of its facets.
3. Trust that I will find inspiration
If I am open and present in my day to day life, I will be able to hear my inner guidance and take inspired action at the right moment.
This all sounds great doesn't it? Simple enough. But I know that staying present can be a struggle, especially for a person who likes structure and setting goals. Do you find that?
In my next blog post I'll share some practical tips on grounding yourself and helping to stay focused on the present rather than worrying about where you may or may not be in five years time.
By Amanda Edwards
Amanda is a (reformed) lawyer turned holistic life coach, self-care advocate, workshop facilitator, writer, speaker, avid reader, nature lover, chai tea drinker and mother to a curious, active toddler. A spirit seeker who loves connecting with others on journeys of self-discovery, Amanda believes we can all find our own version of success and live an empowered life.