About 2 years ago, I became aware of various mindfulness practices that help me stay grounded in the present. Prior to this, I was constantly revisiting my past and quite fearful of the future. One of the practices that helped me to live in the present is setting aside time each morning to decide how I am going to “show-up” or present myself to the world each day. I’d like to share this practice with you…..
- At the start of each day, take a few minutes to sit in silence and decide how you are going to “show up” to this world today.
- Write decision, in your own writing, somewhere where you can see it throughout the day.
- Align your actions with your declaration.
Let me break this down for you:
Yes, you heard me correctly. You’ve got to decide how you are going to “show up” in this world. You must decide who you are going to be and what you are going to do. Also, this must be decided daily. If you fail to set the pace for your day, other factors, such as life, circumstances, and other people, will dictate the way that your life is experienced. I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to leave that up to chance.
There are two ways that life can be lived, proactively or reactively. When you live life from a proactive stance, you are making a choice to step up to the plate and call the shots on how your life is experienced.
On the other hand, a life lived reactively gives the experiences of life up to fate. At times, life will seem grand. However, there is great chance that you will also experience a lot of suckage too. It is a life where you don’t know what to expect or how to respond at any given time. This is a perfect breeding ground for frustration….. I don’t know about you, but I hate being frustrated
When you decide how you are going to “show-up” to the world you are making a declaration to take a stance and live life from that declaration. For example: I frequently decide that I am going to “show up” as “a man who brings joys to others.” As I make this declaration, I then align all my actions to match it. I become mindful that my goal is to bring joy, so I choose to smile, I choose to laugh, I choose to pay people compliments. My mission throughout the day is to make others smile and enjoy life too. Lately, I’ve been working on being a better husband. My daily declaration has been, “Today I stand before God and all his creation as a man who is willing to love his wife as she needs to be loved.” In making this declaration, I become mindful to love my wife as she needs to be loved (not as how I haphazardly attempt to love her). I know that she values time spent together, so I spend time with her. I know that she likes when I help with the upkeep of the house, so I help her with it. I know that she loves to talk to me, so I listen to her. At the end of the day, my experience with my wife is amazing. She’s happy, I’m happy. However, if I chose to live that day reactively it may involve me sitting on the couch surfing the tube, meanwhile my wife sits in the other room frustrated. She may try to speak to me, but I’m more interested in the show, and by the time we are ready to sleep she may give me the cold shoulder and say something snarky about how my day went, which may frustrate me and cause me to struggle to fall asleep….. With that said, I’m not willing to exchange a fulfilled marriage for the unknown.
But what if I don’t feel like it?
You will never feel your way or think your way into fulfillment. You are not your thoughts, and you are not your feelings. Your thoughts will wander to various places throughout the day. Your feeling may try to lead you on another path. You might decide to “show-up” as “A person who is willing to lead a healthy lifestyle.” Yet, five minutes into your day you start thinking about Krispy-Kreme donuts. Let me remind you……. You are not your thoughts!!!! However, you are your actions….. I believe that is where the power of the pen comes in. When you write down your declaration and review it throughout your day, you remind yourself of what you are committed to being.
Your goals change daily. Currently I’m working on being a better husband. Last week I was working on showing up as a man who is willing to not be swayed by the opinions of others. I’m also at a place where I have a couple of ongoing declarations that I’m working on, and I add one that is specific to the day that I am living out. You will find what works best for you.
There is no reason for us to live an unfulfilled life. It is my hope and prayer that your declarations will help you to live the life that you desire
John Eli has spent over 15 years mentoring and coaching individuals in life skills, career transitions, and through organizational change. He has worked in behavioral health, pastoral care, and higher-education. He has found that he is most satisfied in life when he is helping people recognize their potential and assisting them to reach their goals.
He currently lives in Chandler, Arizona with his wife, mini-schnauzer and an antique piano whom he calls, “Betty.”