Lately, I've been really focused on staying present, as I've realized that no matter what reflections I have on my past, it doesn't change what has happened. No matter how much I hope for certain things in my future, life doesn’t always go according to plan. So, when I step back and realize that the only parts of life that I can "control" are how I live in this precise moment – even as I write this post – it creates a profound shift in how I want to move throughout my day.
I think there is a lot of hype around living in the now – often mistaken as a call to action to quit your job, move into a van, follow your wanderlust across the world and show it off through vibrant social posts. I mean, don't get me wrong, there are incredible people who follow that path of presence by flowing with uncertainty every minute of the day and truly allowing themselves to be open to endless possibilities. But that's not the type of presence that I'm talking about right now.
I'm more interested in the idea of blooming where you're planted, making choices that build upon one another to bring you to the next incredible place in your life that is only minutes, maybe hours, ahead of you. I think, subconsciously, I've loved this concept for a long time and only recently put a label on the feeling.
I believe this living in the moment is why I'm called to get outside and participate in outdoor recreation. I love how hiking on a rocky open trail makes my mind go blank with soft fascination, or how I experience that immediate gratification of staying in the moment and making tricky choices to complete a hard climb when I'm rock climbing. When I'm backcountry skiing, all I can do is focus on my body rhythm in anticipation of the incredible ride down. Even with that anticipation, I'm forced to stay in the moment, step by step, as without the concentration on my physical journey, I'll never make it to the top. I even notice my need to stay present while packing for a backpacking trip! It’s times when I'm on my phone and only giving my packing 50 percent of my attention that I usually forget something crucial.
Being an outdoor professional helps me root back into the present moment and I carry over the lessons I learn in the woods to my everyday life. When I'm present, I make every decision count – from how I start my morning to what I put in my body – and I know what makes me feel energized, and the consequences of what does not. I know the thoughts that empower me are always part of my story in the present moment, and are rarely the ones that come in from my future or my past.
Every day is a day to start new and grow just a little more. Today is just as important as yesterday was, no matter where you are, whether in the woods, on a beach, in an office or in your home.
So, next time you have the "Monday Blues" or "Sunday Scaries," try to hone into the present moment by making decisions that nourish your soul. As you stay in the now, you just might find that you're content with exactly where you are.