Our obsession with reaching this goal can overshadow everything that's happening to us and around us, right here in the present moment. In an earlier post, I talked about my road trip and how I turned things around for myself when I let go of when we would arrive and concentrated on enjoying the trip.
You can do the same thing in the journey of your day-to-day life. Your daily process can be a wonderful experience. Even when painful things happen, you have the opportunity to grow and reach a new level of joy on the other side.
If you're only looking at whether you're meeting your goal, it can be very discouraging, especially when the most meaningful goals often come with slow, steady action and gradual progress. If you're expecting quick results, that disappointment can even lead to relapse.
7 Tools for Being Present on the Journey
1. Therapy – A therapist is there solely to work with you in the present moment and keep you there. Explore different types of therapy that use components like art, books, movies and movement, and different formats such as group work or family therapy.
2. Body work – Give yourself the gift of treating your body to healing effects of massage, yoga, stretching or other forms of exercise. Check with your doctor and find what works for YOU.
3. Breathing – You can tune into your body anytime by pausing to focus on your breath going in and out of your body. It's the quickest way to get back to the present moment.
4. Support – Seek out supportive people who can understand and validate what you're going through, and who will listen unconditionally without trying to fix you or solve your problems.
5. Meditation – The quiet time of meditation is an opportunity to reconnect with yourself. This will help you avoid overwhelm or the constant need to catch up with your life.
6. Writing – When you write about your thoughts and feelings, it brings you into the present moment so you can process them. We've created a journaling tool called spirit of change that can help you use this tool.
7. Structure – Create a routine of repeated tasks that enhance your recovery. The more you do them, the more familiar and comforting they will become. For some, structure will include a plan of eating, attending 12-step meetings, phoning supportive friends or the other things on this list.
Watch for our next post, where White Picket Fence Counseling Center therapist Tara Harvill will share her own thoughts on navigation life's journeys.