Past, Present and Future Thinking

I have been doing a lot of reflecting lately on just how much of a future oriented person that I am. I have always been looking at what’s next. I think that this has become a bigger issue lately because I see myself getting older. I am getting closer to having children and know how watching a child grow can make you very aware of time. I have done significant work on being in the present and enjoying that, but I have nearly dropped the past.

Most of us are past or future oriented. This is where we “live” most of the time. This can impact us negatively when it causes us distress. We can often experience anxiety about the future or grief and regret about the past. This is where I do a lot of work with my clients on mindfulness in daily living. Practicing mindfulness can teach you how to live in the present and utilize radical acceptance to let go of the negative feelings that are connected to the past. A mindfulness practice is the constant turning of your mind to the present, releasing judgement of yourself and others, and gaining awareness.

My anxiety isn’t so much related to worries of the past or the future. I am very excited about my future and have worked very hard to have a life that I love, right now. However, given my “what’s next” mentality and my recognition that I am getting older, I do not want to wake up one day and feel that I didn’t give my daily life enough gratitude. To help with this, I have decided to pirate an idea I learned about from another colleague: I am going to keep a picture journal. What is a picture journal, you say? It is taking one picture in your life everyday and writing a blurb about it. Of course, with my future oriented mind, I have been thinking when should I start this? My 30th birthday? Our wedding day? When I get pregnant? Chuck heard my message and reflected that I needed to start it now, not allowing another day to go by. So today, on a gloomy, rainy day, I will set out to take my first picture. Stay tuned.

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2 thoughts on “Past, Present and Future Thinking

  1. I find myself looking at lofe from a What’s Next point of view as well, and also work with a mindfulness practice to allow me to enjoy Now. It’s a difficult balance for me. I’ve spent years planning and learning and working to get where I am now, so planning is pretty much second nature. I believe that just living in the moment will be my constant daily practice for the rest of my life! 🙂

    Are you going to post your photo journal or if an off-blog activity? Either way I look forward to hearing about your experience with it!

    – Shannon

    • I think I will probably share the pic that I choose today but I don’t think that I will share it each day. I am trying to make a conscious effort to “unplug” sometimes and enjoy the craftsmanship of paper.

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