Just Breathe…

“Breathe.  Let go.  And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” – Oprah Winfrey

I was reminded of the importance of breathing in, letting go, and being in the moment yesterday as I was traveling to the beach with my best friend from college for our annual girls’ weekend. Just being a passenger in the car as we drove through such beautiful, scenic areas…listening to the sound of the waves…allowed me disconnect just enough to sit back and breathe it all in. So many amazing things…so much to be thankful for…so much to take in and appreciate…so much that is bigger than me. It was humbling, awe-inspiring, and brought me a sense of peace and appreciation.

So many of us, myself included, spend our days rushing from one thing to the next. We aren’t present in the current moment and we aren’t breathing in all that life has to offer – which means we also aren’t appreciating those moments, we aren’t stopping to express gratitude, and we aren’t even aware of all that is surrounding us. It’s kind of sad when you think about it – we could potentially go through our entire lives without ever really being present in the moment…without ever noticing all the amazing things life gives to us…without ever having that sense of peace and appreciation I felt yesterday. This begs the question, how do we change so we are able to breathe, let go, and be in the moment more often?

One thing I have personally worked to change over the past few years is my perspective on life, which has shifted dramatically in that time. I used to get so wrapped up in my To Do List, on what’s coming up next, on all my personal belongings being “just so”, and on controlling as many aspects of my surroundings as possible. When I finally resolved to let go of that control and that continual focus on what’s next, I found a much happier way of living. I began enjoying life more, appreciating each moment as it was happening instead of worrying about what was coming up next. And while I still have an occasional moment when I return to my former thinking, I have gotten to a point where I recognize when I am doing that and I can talk myself back to a place of “better” perspective. There is nothing so relaxing, so peaceful, so freeing as adjusting your perspective on life such that you can be in each moment and appreciate it for all that it is.

Making such a shift in your perspective is definitely a journey – it is not something you will likely ever master in this lifetime, but by working at it a little bit at a time you can improve your perspective, your thinking, your habits and thus your life tremendously. No judgment on the times you fall back into you old ways…just a continual trial and error process as you learn and grow. Just keep working on being in the present moment and letting go of the things that keep form being there now.

This moment that we are currently in really is the only moment we know for sure that we will have…the next moment is not a guarantee, though we go through life many times as if it is. This is all the more reason to breathe it in. So remember to stop from time to time, breathe life in, let go of all the stress and chaos momentarily, and be thankful. Don’t stress over everything – relax, be present, and enjoy. This is perhaps the best advice I can offer to anyone. Live your life to the fullest and truly appreciate all that it has to offer.

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