Place: Aster Cafe
Time: Twilight, early summer 2018
I’m straight Carrie Bradshaw’ing- drinking a glass of wine, alone at a street bistro, observing foot traffic and having an inner monologue about it. Feeling contemplative and in a twinkly haze from a glass of rose and the damp, liquid heat of summer coming in quickly.
There is a table of young 20-something women to my left. As I eavesdrop I place them at 22- just about to graduate college. One woman is beautifully dramatic and effusive in telling her friend that she had a successful interview as another one shares that she wants to move to LA to pursue acting, promptly pulling out her phone to share her reel. I’m definitely pushing some energetic boundaries right now as I get sucked into listening about another of the women’s boy troubles (also, feeling like an effective creep as I unsuspectingly listen while wearing earpods).
I have a knowing half smile listening to these women share their excitement for their futures, wondering, that if in a past life there was a 34 year old listening to 22 year old me? Having excitement and curiosity about what life experiences I was anticipating; having her own reminiscent moment about her 20’s. Sort of like nesting Russian dolls of nostalgia.
Sitting at 22, thinking I had a plan for life and having no idea what twists and turns were meant for me. What growth. What surprises. What love. What relationships. What careers. What losses. What spirit. What perspective. All I saw was possibility and the linear wins that mean the most to a young woman; a job, a boyfriend, friends, a life that all laid ahead. I had no clue that I was on a journey of shedding adolescent layers in favor of spiritual lessons and laws.
At any given point on your path, at any given age, do you wear that knowing smile for the younger women at the table next to you, but not for yourself? It’s as if we have the ability to have wisdom and compassion for the twists and turns we’ve already traversed but not for the ones we are traversing.
How do we apply the beauty and depths of our stories to our current reality? The answer is simple; these young women to my left have reminded me that everything lies in the now. The silliness. The dreams. The love. The friendships. The challenges. The wins. The fear. The opportunities. It’s all happening in this very moment. There is no way to predict the future, or change our past. We are not defined by either of these, yet we chain ourselves to that fallacy.
Our anxieties and fears as adults are a result of us leaving the present moment. This happens every day and there is nothing to judge when you notice it. Simply bringing yourself back to NOW (where everything that belongs to you is).
Below are 5 simple tips for practicing mindfulness and allowing yourself to return to the magic of the current moment:
Look at your hand. Hold your hand out in front of you and study it for a few moments. Look at the lines and nails and jewelry that adorns it. Breathe in this moment. Breathe into your hand. Allow yourself to be present in studying a tangible part of your physical being.
Practice Triangle Breathing: Breathe in for 7 counts, hold your breath for 7 counts, and release it for 7 counts. Repeat this until you feel yourself returning to the present moment. Give gratitude for this breath.
Earthing: take your shoes off and stand on the grassy earth. Feel the blades of grass on the soles of your feet, feel the coolness or dampness of the ground beneath you. Breathe into gratitude for your connection to Gaia, our Great Mother Earth, and all she provides for us. She is our great connector; our only constant. That’s magic baby.
Find a crystal that you connect with (I like rose quartz or opalite for this). There is no right or wrong way to do this, but only to follow your inner knowing (as they say ‘the crystal chooses you’). Hold this gem in your hand and squeeze it; feel the energy it emits and allow it to become your only focus for several breaths. Allow it to ground you into the here and now.
Engage your other senses: utilize essential oils, an ice cube, a cup of hot tea to summon your spirit into now. Breathe into your senses. Allow it to fill your entire physical body and then beyond. This is mindfulness when you slow down; you can almost feel the clock tick a bit slower when you breathe in deeply and let your senses be stimulated and awakened.
I drifted back into my present moment: sitting at Aster Cafe, the sun a bit lower, my glass a bit emptier, yet filled with gratitude and blessed ideas. I buy my 22 year old inspirators a round of drinks quietly and tell the waiter to give them my thanks. I was lovingly reminded that all we are given is this; this moment holds the promise of the next, but not a guarantee. When we allow ourselves to open our eyes, breathe into our physical and spiritual bodies we are almost instantly gifted the ability to broaden our borders and welcome in more. Mindfulness is not a fad; it is our infinite superpower.
With Much Love Always,