During the pandemic it is so easy to dream about the future. When will life get back to normal. When can I go out to my favorite restaurant or see a show. We are living in an alternative reality which few of us imagined could happen. All of that make us think about not being here and in this moment, wishing for the future.
Of course we want everyone to stay healthy and life to return to normal. And we have to recognize not only the direct health threats of COVID-19, but also the toll it takes on families, kids, and the economy. We have to care for those who need our help now because there is real pain and suffering going on.
And at the same time each moment is important. This is why to live through this time and thrive, it is important to find joy in small moments which are valuable. Even in a pandemic, our daily experiences can be enjoyed. The small pleasure of hearing the birds chirp or a beautiful sunrise.
Living with two kids gives me much inspiration for seeing how to live in the moment. My younger boy, Harry, he is 6 months. At this age he is always living for the moment. He only wants to be with us, held by us, smile with us. Everything he wants is to sit with us and smile. This deep connection one can have with the a baby is felt in that moment when you and he reach out for each other.
Sammy, my older boy, just turned 7. When he plays, he plays just for that moment. Whether he is playing soccer, building forts, exploring a pond for fish and frogs, or drawing maps for the cities he imagines on Neptune, he is there in the moment. It is for the pure experience of his engagement.
As we grow up we lose that feeling of being wherever we are. We are thinking about our emails, what to cook for dinner, and how to get everything done. One thing that mindfulness gives us is the ability to stop and experience the moment we are in. It gives us a chance to be kind to ourselves to simply experience being. This can be profound for people with busy lives, but also those with chronic illness that can be overwhelming. You are allowing yourself to be, non-judged, with the experience of the moment.