Getting lost in the past or the future, I lose touch with what is real. I worry about what might happen, actually imagining the experiences in detail and living through them mentally, emotionally, and even physically as my heart speeds and my muscles tense. I dwell on mistakes that I've made in the past--wishing I could change them rather than making my best choices right now!
So I remind myself, even in the midst of something difficult, to come into this moment, opening to what is. I gently loosen the grip my mind has on the past and future and bring it back, maybe many times, to this moment. I notice the choices I can make now. When I can, I choose to be spacious, making choices once my mind, emotions, and body settle so that I can choose from a calm, neutral perspective.
I remember that right now, I'm okay, even though I may be feeling upset or angry or sad or worried. That right now, I'm okay, even though my mind is racing to all sorts of stories. And that right now, I'm okay even though my body may be sick, tired, flooded with adrenaline, or otherwise feeling lousy.
I let time slow down, let myself slow down, and let the impulsive reactions fall away. Pretty soon, things get a bit clearer.
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life, helping me to make peace with myself as I truly am and to appreciate my family, life, and the world as they actually are.