Today my goal is to stay present. Have you ever tried this? The mind always wants to think about what needs to be done next or what we already did. To focus on the here and now is difficult for most. What makes me fixed on staying present is the surrounding chaos. Many of my loved ones are experiencing tough situations, which encourages me to sit still in gratitude for what I have and am thankful for.
I took a luxurious walk this morning along the Inter-coastal and Atlantic ocean. The view was spectacular. I saw the sun peak out over the purple/orange backdrop on the ocean shoreline. A new day is about to begin. My legs are strong and my energy abound. My fur-child Southern Grace moves with me as if we are one. Her tail swished side to side, so joyful to be with me out on a walk. She lives in the now.
A person learns they have an illness, let’s say it is a rare disease and they can no longer see. I would imagine for the time left they would look at everything with attention, knowing soon there would be a sea of darkness. I wonder why not see today as if it were my last view? Or live each day as my last. What would I do differently? Who would I want to spend time with? What would I say not said?
Today I practice mindfulness. The dictionary defines mindfulness as calm awareness of one’s body functions, feelings, content of consciousness, or consciousness itself. I am totally conscious of my fingers dancing over the keys, putting words together. I am told mindfulness is the path to liberation and enlightenment. It is the intense purpose of staying in the now. I get this. For years I obsessed with paying off all monies owed to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yes, you read the numbers correctly. My goal was to become debt free.
During this quest it was difficult to remain in the present because I was living for the future of no debt. I had a special birthday that year: 9-09-09. What made it special beyond the cool numbers? I decided two years prior to that to pay off all my debt, including my student loan with Miss Sallie on September 9, 2009. I kept my nose to the grind for two years and not wavered one iota to purchase anything that was not of absolute necessity. I learned to live with less and appreciate the gifts around me daily.
I accomplished my goal and on Wednesday, 9-9-09, I wrote my last check to Sallie and enthusiastically dropped it in the mailbox on my way to work. I thought I would hear a chorus of angels burst into song. I did not. But what I did experience was a keen awareness of peace and liberation. I no longer was a slave to owing Sallie.
I then moved on to freedom from my home mortgage and on 11-11-11 I freed myself once again from Mr. Sun Trust. Once more I enthusiastically dropped the last check in the mailbox, but this time I knew the choir of angels would not burst into song, but I would—and I did. I was free, completely debt free. All credit card debt, car debt, student loan debt and house debt, gone with the wind. I felt as light as a feather in the wind—free at last from the burdens of debt.
So, today I am present. I refuse to think about what needs to be done next or what I already did. I am present with each breath in and out. I am present to the sounds of birds singing and the whispers of the wind as it folds through the palm trees out my window. I am here and now. What makes me fixed on staying present is the surrounding chaos. Loved ones are at personal crossroads–forced to face difficult situations, which encourages me to sit still in gratitude for what I have and am thankful for.
Are you living in the present? When were you last on a free from debt? What are your thoughts about living debt free?
If you are not chasing money and you’re debt free, please tell us your secret—we all want to hear from you.
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Speaker, writer, licensed clinical psychotherapist, PhD in addiction psychology, eating disorder professional, hypnotherapist changing the view about compulsive eating one addict at a time.