It’s so easy for our thoughts to drift towards the future or look back and reminisce on the past. Sometimes, we are so busy reliving old experiences in our mind or fearing circumstances that might arise in the future, that we completely miss out on the present. The magical, mundane, big and small moments just pass us by.
Today, I realized this as I was holding my baby’s chubby little feet while lying in bed watching the blue sky from the window. My thoughts drifted to thinking about how my life would be in the future and whether or not I would still enjoy the conveniences I have today. I felt a rush of fear and thought about all the bad things that could happen to me, my family or my kids. Before I went too far into the abyss of my mind, my baby’s little sigh brought me back to the present. Then, a moment of mindfulness took over. I looked at my hand holding these tiny little chubby feet and finally noticed the blue sky outside the window that I had completely taken for granted! Believe me, blue skies are a gift! You learn this after living for 10 years in rainy Ireland (just to be clear, there are a lot of wonderful things about Ireland and I do still love it there even if blue skies can be hard to come by)!
Anyway, I then realized that amid such a beautiful moment, I was trapped in fear of something that was so far from my current reality. I breathed a sigh of relief and just the simple, conscious shift in focus and being mindful of my thoughts and re-aligning to the present freed me from fear. It just takes a moment to turn worry and fear into gratitude and contentment. It’s the little choices that we make that make a big difference. Stop from time to time, notice your surroundings, feelings and emotions, then choose to see the blue sky and feel gratitude.
This technique is sometimes called re-framing and it is a powerful self-management tool that can be used in our daily lives and at work. It is especially impact-ful for those of us who are in leadership roles, as it really focuses the mind and brings us back to a more productive and resourceful space, thereby making better decisions and creating solutions.
Coaching uses techniques such as this, and a lot more, to help clients manage their emotions and create the results that they want.
Stop, notice and choose.