Ahhh – it is so easy to get stuck on the treadmill of life being unconscious and unaware of who we are and where we are headed and all the while our life is passing us by and we are forgetting to enjoy our lives and create the life we want. Working in the outplacement world, I see people get smacked off the treadmill when they are laid off all of the time and then they ask themselves what have I have doing on this unconscious treadmill never stopping to ask myself – am I happy, am I doing what I love, have I been enjoying each moment along the way even with the challenges life always brings, have even been present enough in the moment to know who I am and appreciate what I have and ask myself what is my passion and purpose and my vision and the legacy I want to leave.
What if you didn’t have to have a major event like a layoff, or a divorce, or a major life changing event to have to wake you up to all of this and set yourself on the path of deep fulfillment and living the life you want to life?
To honestly do this, you have to start with being present right now. What came to me is the acronym of P.R.E.S.E.N.C.E. to help us be here in this moment and remember who we are and why we are here and where we want to go.
P – Play – how often do we forget to play and laugh and have fun. We get so caught up on checking off the to do list that we forget to take a moment to connect with our family, friends, community to just smile and enjoy our life right now. My kids who are in this photo are my best teachers to remember me to play and always maintain that childlike place of wonder and joy. When we are in this place, we are happier and honestly everything in our lives improve and people want to spend time with us, want work with us, what to be in our world. I often have this talk with clients when they get too serious – I let them know that down energy is what they are taking into their job search and honestly, who wants to be around that. People want to be around people that despite challenges, you are enjoying your life and the people in it and mostly, you are happy with and within yourself.
R – Recreation – I see this as hobbies and doing activities that you love. Sometimes on this treadmill we forget to do the things that bring us joy – whether that is playing an instrument, dancing, drawing, speaking another language, playing a sport – whatever it is – make sure you are making time for what you love. My Dad was a guest speaker in one of my kid’s kindergarten classes and he shared that after many years as an engineer – he realized he put his passions on shelf –which was music – he plays the saxophone and clarinet. Now that he is retired he has played in up to 5 different bands. But what great advice to 5 year olds – make sure you don’t wait until you retire – always make time for your hobbies and what you love.
E – Enjoy. The truth is life has so many challenges and when we are in the middle of a challenge it can seem counterintuitive to enjoy life, but the truth is that is the most important time to find time to enjoy life. Whatever you can find in your sphere to enjoy and be grateful for – embrace it – a sunset, time with your child, exercise and anything else that makes you smile.
S – Slow Down. We can get so caught up with running from one thing to the next and not being present where we are. We can jam our lives with so many things that cause us to be on the run. Slow down – look at eliminating what you can that is not necessary in your life to create more time to spend time doing what is important including nurturing you, being with people who are important to you, taking time to evaluate what is important to you and create space in your life to do more of what you love.
E – Excitement. This unconscious treadmill dulls our excitement, since we are running so fast we can’t appreciate anything. When we get off the treadmill – we can remember what makes us excited and spend more time in this energy. Also having a vision and working towards it – that is exciting. Make time to get in touch with what makes you excited.
N – Nature. Ahh talk about a fabulous way to get present – be quiet in nature. Listen to the sounds in nature, connect to the earth, be quiet. Take a journal and see what you connect to within yourself. If possible take time each morning and afternoon to be quiet in nature – I promise you that you will receive many gifts and insights being in nature.
C – Calm. By being present – you will get to a place of calm and in this place you will make much better decisions to help create the life you want. When we are on the treadmill, we are in a reactive mode and aren’t making decisions in our best interest.
E – Essence. One of the most important parts of being present is it allows you to tap into the essence of who you are and really understand why you are here.
Don’t wait until a layoff or major life event to question why you are here and who you are – don’t let life keep passing you by. Start today with these small steps to know you, appreciate you, connect to what is important to you, to start living the life that you want to live and start stepping into your vision and the legacy you want to leave on this earth.