I’ve been on a bit of break from writing, but I have been maintaining my runs. Today was a long one, which was six hot sweaty slow miles.
While running, I couldn’t help but list in my mind all of the things that I should’ve done last week.
The Should’ve Done List:
- Gone to yoga
- Read more to get ahead for next week
- Eaten cereal instead of fast food tacos that night after class
- Drank less coffee
- Ordered Ningxia sooner
Then, about mile 3, I realized I was categorizing the in the wrong direction. I mean, I can’t go back. How was shoulding on myself a productive use of this beautiful run?
Much of the work I do with clients in my counseling practice involves past events and the regrets that have followed. Some of the work is anxiety about the future often based on past events.
This got me to thinking. If we continue to look back in regret, do we miss the enthusiasm for the good that might be up ahead while simultaneously missing the joy in the present?
What might staying present have looked like instead during those first three miles of mustabatory thinking?
A Doing List:
- Observing nature
- Enjoying a playlist I chose
- Breathing deeply
- Mindful gratitude
- Feeling fine
The irony does not escape me. I do see that I’m currently making a Should’ve List for my Doing List. But hear me out, I am hoping to create more awareness about the present and all it has to offer.
Yoga is helpful but it can become a chore for me especially during busy times.
It is definitely more than asana.
With my wiring, staying present takes practice, grace, and the creation and appreciation of space, time, and opportunities.
I will definitely be on the lookout. Passively of course.
What do you do to stay present?