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Just Remember to Enjoy the Journey

Living life in the present. I wrote about this at the beginning of last year (which feels like another lifetime) and theres still so much for me to learn and share.  

So here’s the thing. It takes constant work – on ourselves – to stay on a mindful path. It isn’t easy because the Western world has conditioned us to survive against our natural instincts. Taking in every moment is so much harder than it sounds. We’re all trying to keep up, surrounded by digital distractions and managing busy minds.   

There is also a danger of becoming too focused on the end goal. Whether it’s the daily commute, a holiday, a promotion or our dream home, we can be so preoccupied with reaching the destination that we miss the journey there. Heads down, vital opportunities or moments of joy may pass us by.   

I’ve spent the last few weeks working on my journey. The daily one and the life one. Already, I’m seeing a completely new perspective. Resisting frustration when the day doesn’t go to plan is a challenge. It takes a little brain rewiring, but understanding that an obstacle is there for a reason is half the battle. Accepting situations as they occur saves a great deal of mental energy. And not knowing what the future holds has become an excitement rather than a fear.

The power of our minds is incredible

I’m not afraid to admit that a recent low point made me realise that ‘life’ was getting in the way. It took me by surprise at the time, but looking back, it was inevitable. It was a build-up of pressure – the last two years have been tough on us all, right? I was too busy worrying about where I wanted to be that I temporarily lost who I was. I would have plenty of mindful moments, but this wasn’t enough. I had a choice. I accepted support. And this turned my upside-down world the right way up again. Stepping back, and taking a little time out, helped me to make a change. 

It all started with a journal

As I wrote about in How to journal and why it’s so good for you,  journalling is an ever-evolving process. It’s about finding the right one that works for you at the time. Kate Drummond’s Journal of Rediscovery fell into my hands at just the right time. This journal is on another level. It takes you right back to the beginning of your life journey, helps you declutter your mind, body and surroundings (so important for clear thinking), all to prepare you for the star of the show – creating your vision of who and where you want to be. Right now, I’m on a very exciting journey. I highly recommend it.  

Allowing the mind to be still

The most important thing Ive learnt and practised during this process is giving myself space. Space to let my mind be still – to go a bit deep and connect with who I am. And if you can’t take time out, or a little maintenance is all you need right nowthis is possible with a full-time job and a long daily commute. The outside world is full of adventure and excitement. But it can also be exhausting for the mind. And if you’re constantly in it, regular pauses will help clear your mind and reset your thinking. Set an alarm, and just take a few moments to breathe and check in with yourself throughout the day 

'Accepting situations as they occur saves a great deal of mental energy...'

Looking up

This is the fun bit. It’s amazing what you notice when you look up. Have you ever tried putting your phone away when you’re on the move? It’s an eye-opener. Literally. Your mind is free to absorb the journey. Your thoughts will naturally drift, so acknowledge them and gently bring your mind back to the present. If you have an overactive one (I’m with you), this isn’t easy. Two words – practise and persistence. 

When you get off the tube/train/bus, keep your phone in your bag. You never know what you’ll see or who you’ll meet. A message on an advert could trigger a bright idea. A moment in the coffee shop queue could spark a conversation that opens your mind to something new. Even a warm smile from a stranger might be enough to change your mood. 

Finding the joy in every day

And while we’re on the subject of smiling, we need to do more of it. Life can get a bit too serious. We frown, without realising, as the mind races from one worry to another. Enjoy the simple pleasures – fresh linen, a good book, coffee with a friend, lazy sundays. What makes you smile?  

So if you’re having a tough time, struggling to find the positives and unsure of who you are, I encourage you to change the story. If you’re racing through life like a whirlwind and feel on the brink of burnout, I urge you to slow down. The journey is the best bit. Which road do you want to take?   

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