I used to go crazy when I wanted to achieve something. I couldn’t rest until the goal was accomplished, whether it was cleaning the house or getting a work project done. Everything else got put on hold. I was missing my “real” life – always living for something to get done, then immediately creating the next thing to do. The angels say often, through my friend Summer Bacon, “When you get there, where you gonna get to next?” There is always another goal. When we pay attention to where we are in the here and now almost anything can be transformed from being mundane to being enjoyable.
The other night after work, I was rushing to give my dogs their thrice-weekly anti-mite dog bath. As I started herding my big guy into the bathroom, he reminded me that I was anything but present. He was resisting me with everything in him. I heard his spirit loud and clear. “I am not just another thing on your to do list and if you’re going to make me take a bath, you will have to make it fun.” He stopped, dug his paws into the carpet and wouldn’t budge!! I started to laugh. My dogs have always insisted on me learning my lessons. “You’re right,” I said. “Ok I’m doing this because I love you. I don’t want those bugs eating you up, so lets make this fun.” I started to sing the bathtub song I made up for them… “Rub a dub dub dub, Rub a dub dub dub, I’ve got a dog in the tub, tub, tub…. All the little mites have to go into the light, Rub a dub dub dub dub.” My dog is the only one on earth that loves my singing voice – he smiled, released his death grip on the carpet, and proceeded to cooperate. Mind you – being soaking wet with a 70 lb husky pouring vinegar water all over him isn’t exactly my idea of an amazing night, but because I got present again we had fun, my dog got all happy and fluffy afterwards and that priceless smile was worth every bit of work. I’m sure you mom’s out there know exactly what I’m talking about!
I try to apply the same principles to all my life activities. I had to sit at the car repair place for four hours last week while Zippy, my car, had some expensive but necessary repairs. Instead of focusing on all the time and money it was taking to fix the car, I enjoyed four hours of quiet time with no phone and no email. I read an entire book, and did some meditations I’d been wanting to do for ages. I felt rejuvenated and abundant in my spirit even though the time had been spent sitting in a waiting room that wasn’t exactly a five star resort!
We all want things in the future, but why put off enjoying what is in front of us right now. We can waste our entire lives in worry, or we can live our lives, fully and richly, present to what is in front of us. I am a lot happier than I used to be now that each moment has become precious.