As many of you know, I went a little crazy making holiday decorations after 2020. Like all of us I was tired of being cooped up and I had been helping others nonstop. To balance the intensity of that experience, I made frequent trips to the dollar store in 2021 and happily created decorations for every season. Although meditation, gardening, and hiking were all wonderful ways for me to stay connected, my creative spirit demanded attention. I’ve never regretted the happy hours of gluing and painting. Now, in the middle of helping someone go through their life’s deepest challenges, I can look up and see the results of my joy all over the place. It helps me stay in a good vibration.

I was feeling nostalgic as I put up the Easter decorations last weekend. A few years ago, I was blessed with a family visit right after Easter, and it was one of the best weeks of my life. I’ve had so many amazing times, but sharing love with the people I’ve journeyed with this life was bliss. In the past, we drove each other crazy! We’re all so different in many ways, yet as time and wisdom have overtaken us, we’ve realized how much we have in common.

We’ve fallen in love with our differences, and our time together was one of ease and flow. No one tried to force anyone into doing anything. Mom woke up early and enjoyed the birds on the patio. Dad took naps in the afternoon after sneaking some work in. We got outside every day, had picnics, and ate healthy food. We watched new YouTube channels together and laughed. It was so relaxing and easy. Life itself guided us to beautiful memories. The backyard hummingbird visited and posed for photos every day. During one outing, a total stranger made a comment that inspired the next memorable day. To share such love after earlier years of upset and conflict was bliss.

I was thinking about this memory with such joy when the winds of another thought blew through me, and I burst into tears. Suddenly, my thoughts turned in another direction. I missed my family’s presence in my home and their unconditional love. As I focused on what I missed, I missed more. I thought about experiences I had missed. I started feeling the weight of aging and the joys of youth no longer present. And then I caught my own insanity and literally said out loud, “Stop it! Stop that now!” I couldn’t believe how easily my mind had wandered down that thankless path! I

zapped myself back to the present and the good feelings that were there only seconds before. I have my family’s love every day, and we talk often. I have the backyard hummingbird. I can take a walk and eat a good meal on the patio any day I choose. I have visits to look forward to. And even someday, when they’re all in heaven, and I remain, I will have them present, all day, every day. Missing what was when what is and what will be is so filled with goodness really struck me as a mindset I don’t want to indulge. It doesn’t feel good.

It is easy to fall into the world’s vibrations that resonate strongly in the “human pool.” It is easy to get sucked into feelings of missed opportunities and endings, of aging and possible illness, of political unrest and challenges. But the truth is that every present moment is a beginning and an opportunity for the next creation. Now is always ripe with things to enjoy.

I decided to make the incident an opportunity to dive more deeply into the present moment. I consciously thought of all sorts of things with great appreciation. I enjoyed the beautiful day, and the way spirit had guided me to haul all my decorations on a weekend when the temperatures were blissful and cool. When my body ached after a long day of lifting, I sat and surrendered and enjoyed a comfy cup of tea and a few minutes of total silence.

So many times in life, I’ve been in tough challenges, when a moment of presence with something beautiful has turned it all around. A hug has given me strength at times to keep going. The scent of a single rose reminded me of the beauty in life. When possible, I run out to the yard in between clients and sit with the bees that are happily sipping on the lavender and rosemary blossoms. These little miracles of nature spend their entire life to give me 1/2 teaspoon of sweet healing honey. I admire their strong and delicate wings—cellophane laced tightly with veins that somehow keep them aloft, fuzzy little colorful bodies and legs covered with yellow pollen. Yes, the world is shaken and stirred these days, but the bees keep buzzing. Nature knows nothing other than the present, and she’s a good reminder.

As the angels have often said, “Ann, you have eternity. What’s the rush?” I’ve been guilty as the next of trying to hurry up and get something done so I can rest, but I find that resting in the middle of my large tasks, helps me accomplish them with greater presence and energy. I’ve been guilty of obsessing about healing so I can hurry up and feel better, only to realize that finding ways to feel better makes me heal faster. I’ve been guilty of pushing myself to pay off a bill only to attract another, and brilliantly also able to slow down and enjoy life’s other abundance to find bills paid easily.

I often think about eternity. What am I rushing towards? What am I rushing to finish? Am I enjoying the journey? If not, eternity might seem like one long time. If I am enjoying now, eternity is now, and now, and wonderful now again. It is a mind-bender, but I like to bend my mind and get it out of its rigidly conditioned thinking while I attempt to allow deeper truths to arise from within.

How would I live if I really embraced the fact that this life is part of my eternal, never-ending journey? If I knew I could live for decades or die tomorrow, how would I live? The answer is what I try to do most of the time. I find reasons to enjoy where I’m at. I do what I desire as soon as I feel the urge and am able. After the little slip into an alternate mindset, I’m determined to enjoy the present even more. I may not be able to change politics or prevent bills. I may have things going on physically that I created in the past and am healing, but now can still be pretty amazing when I let it. The basil plants I bought yesterday sit in the sink in the sunshine, awaiting their spot in the yard. As I treasure them and think of their amazing future in my garden, they suddenly release their fresh, delicious scent, and we enjoy a moment of shared love and appreciation. Now is pretty good.

Here are a few tips to help you slip back into the present moment so your eternity can become better right here and now…

1.  Give yourself permission to enjoy life no matter what else is going on

We get sucked into the things that we think we “should” be thinking about. We have been taught about what we should be thinking about. The news tells us what we should be thinking about. The late-night commercials on television like to tell us what diseases we should worry about. The financial institutions tell us what we should be thinking about.

Sometimes, thinking about these things is natural and part of our ongoing intention to be happy and wise with our resource. More often, thinking about these things engenders fear or doubt about our well-being. It is best to choose our thoughts as carefully as we choose our food, and select only the ones that nourish our spirit.

No matter what is going on, and what we have been taught to think about it, we can always find something small to enjoy. I often pause to enjoy a single ray of sun upon my face. You can give yourself a hug and feel the security arising from the oxytocin (bonding chemical) it triggers in the body. You can read or recall a single inspiring quote to help lift your spirits. No matter how bad or how challenging life is, there are things to comfort and enjoy. It is not “abdicating responsibility” to be happy even when ill, to feel positive even when in debt, or to enjoy love even when missing another soul. Permission to enjoy something now will help you rise above your challenges.

2. Challenge yourself to pause and appreciate often

Cultivating any habit takes effort. You can set a timer on your phone to remind you to “pause and appreciate” something in front of you throughout the day. If you get into the habit, you are training yourself to find things to feel good about any time and anywhere.<br /><br />

3. Remember, “Slower is Faster”

If you can slow your mind down to focus on the task in the present, you will accomplish it much more quickly. Whether you are washing dishes or performing an important task at work, enjoying what you are doing here and now rather than thinking about “getting through it” will actually get you through it more quickly.

Eternity is a long time. Interestingly, those outside of our experience of time don’t think that way. They enjoy where they’re at. I suspect that is one of the reasons heaven is heaven. Those in the heavens do not resist feeling the love there is now. We can learn and constantly train ourselves to look for the good now, and as we do so, eternity begins to sound like the joyous never-ending adventure it was intended to be.

The post Living Now first appeared on Ann Albers Visions of Heaven.

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