My laptop screen flashed blue a heartbeat after the letters quivered and disappeared. This could not be happening! I work from a home office so my laptop is my professional and personal lifeline. After several hours of messing around trying to perform a mechanical resurrection, I headed out to the store to see if I could find a cheap replacement computer. My blood pressure was off the charts as I tried to imagine how I was going to pull together the money for this shopping adventure. My head throbbing, my muscles tense and …what am I invisible? Why did that idiot cut me off? He could have killed us both!... How was I going to pay for this new computer? Jaw clenching…..what? When did my car’s engine light come on? Stomach aching, heart racing…..
It would be lovely if that scenario was a product of my imagination, however that was a day in which my dog was sick (read: vet bill), the computer crashed, and my car needed a couple thousand dollars in repairs. We have all had those horrible days when a family member is ill, the car is totaled, the divorce is final, or the pink slip waits on your desk. Those days our bodies tighten, clench and ache. Those days are minds panic, race and react. Those days our spirits fear, despair and withdraw.
Let’s be clear…life can be challenging. We can not control or plan for all that may be thrown our way. There is no magic potion or 4-step program that will protect us from life’s uncertainties. How we respond to what comes our way is what seems to matter the most.
I have found that being attentive to the moment that I am in is the best way to find my way back from despair and fear. I ask myself this simple question, “Do I have everything I need in this moment?” Have I eaten today? Did I have a place to sleep last night? Is there at least one person in the world who I know loves me? If the answer is yes, then I give thanks for the generosity of the Universe/God/Spirit. Yeah, I understand that it sounds a bit simple, but that is the point. Simple gratitude can bring you back to the moment you are living in. Fear, despair and panic flourish in our past and our future. What matters is the moment we are living in now. I can not remember a time when my answer to that question was no. If I am ever in a moment when my answer is no, I will have all of those yeses before to help me trust that I will be ok until the answer is yes again.
Do I have everything I need in this moment? Yes, thank you!