Last week I reached the age of 50. There’s something about reaching these milestone ages that makes me take stock of where I am, think about what I want to achieve in life, and reflect on the memories that have brought me to this moment.
The thing is, when I think of the memories that really stand out to me in my life, they haven’t been the spectacular moments or the exciting times. They’ve been the quiet, reflective moments; moments in time where I just stopped and realised all was well in my world.
Times like when I was sitting in my little cottage in Wales, studying for a uni exam. I just remember stopping what I was doing for a moment, looking out of the window at the lovely sunny day outside and thinking, I feel perfectly and peacefully HAPPY right now.
I honestly couldn’t think of anything I’d rather be doing than sitting quietly in that sunny little cottage, reading through my textbook.
And let’s face it, studying is not everyone’s idea of a fun time. It probably wouldn’t be up there in my bucket list either.
But for some reason that moment stayed with me, lodged firmly in my memory bank.
Having pondered why my brain decided to devote a bit of precious space to that seemingly insignificant moment, I realised that it stayed with me because I was totally present in that moment.
It wasn’t particularly exciting; it’s just that I was really ‘there’.
So often we can get caught up in the busy-ness of life. And when we’re not being busy we get distracted by TV, social media, and all the other things out there vying for our attention.
But the spaces in between all this can hold such treasure, if we just stop for a moment.
I often encourage my counselling clients to practice mindfulness; giving them a short recording to listen to. They sometimes struggle to fit it into their day. Just stopping and ‘doing nothing’ for 10 minutes can seem like a dreadful waste of time.
But within this practice lies a skill that can enhance and enrich your life in so many ways: the skill of ‘really being there’.
Do you feel as though life is racing by at an overwhelming, stressful pace? Want to soothe your mind, get clarity, and focus on the good things? Get in touch for personal support and coaching.
Lisa Murphy is a counsellor and hypnotherapist based in Glasgow who specialises in anxiety, anger management, and weight loss.