All I Want For Christmas: The Presence is a Gift
I AM CURRENTLY IN THE PROCESS OF PREPARING FOR MY 2018 NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION.
Yes, preparing for a resolution - that is a thing.
I have a lot of opinions about resolutions or goals in general, and you can read more about why I think they fail or succeed in my earlier post “#TBT: FOUR REasons last year's resolution failed.” In that post, I show you how to make a fail-proof goal, and I share with you my own resolution for 2018:
TO SPEND 30 UNINTERRUPTED, TECH-FREE MINUTES EVERY MORNING PARTICIPATING IN REFLECTIVE WRITING, READING SPIRITUAL/ RELIGIOUS TEXTS, PRAYING OR MEDITATING.
Being more present is something I have been wanting (and needing!) to work on since I began reading Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.” This book is not an easy or quick read, but I highly recommend it to anyone trying to be a more connected, peaceful and present version of themselves today. I haven't finished it yet, but even the first two chapters changed the way I perceived my relationship with the world. it made me want to embark on my #roadtopresence.
In 2017, I was on my personal development grind! I accomplished so much in such little time. I embarked on my #roadtorima, which has provided me with so much purpose, strength and hope. But I still felt empty. I would sit and wonder:
what's the deal with this tinge of unhappiness when the rest of me is elated? Why do I feel a small hole in my heart when it is fuller than it's ever been? I couldn't understand.
I finally realized that the answer was everywhere. Literally everywhere. A passenger on my car rides to work, underlying my most heartfelt writing, embedded in my most cherished memories, behind my drastic desire to be self-reliant, and sleeping next to me during the nights when I would cry myself to sleep, and somehow wake up feeling like SuperWoman. Upon reflection, I realized that, at the core of it, i wasn't being intentional about my relationship with god.
I need to be more present so that I can truly appreciate God's presence in my life.
I talk a lot more about this journey towards God and becoming more connected in my feature on Candace’s vlog channel “BLOOM.” if you haven't already watched this episode, You should check it out. it is a raw and uncut explanation of how I came to appreciate and yearn for God’s influence on my life. I learned a lot about myself during that conversation, and actually coined "#roadtopresence" on the spot! I know our conversation was no coincidence.
Like I’ve mentioned before, if we want to be successful at any goal we have set, we need to make room for it in our lives. We can make room for it by planning ahead, foreseeing any obstacles, working to prevent THEM, and breaking the goal down into smaller, bite-sized pieces so it doesn’t seem so insurmountable. THIS BLOG POST IS MY WAY OF PREPARING FOR MY #roadtopresence, AND HERE IS SPECIFICALLY WHAT MY RESOLUTION WILL ENTAIL:
I have a journal that has been sitting and staring at me forever. I bought the journal after my father passed away; i wanted to use it to write letters to him. It is practically begging me to open it up and begin filling its pages, but it also understands that I haven’t necessarily been ready. I feel ready now, so as part of my resolution, I will be opening that journal for 30 minutes and writing those letters to my father. I will also be writing in a separate journal (i have a lot of journals) about this #roadtopresence.
2- READING SPIRITUAL/RELIGIOUS TEXTS
First of all, I rarely read for leisure anymore. I think I’ll be upset with myself if I start school in the Fall and realize I hadn’t used my time off reading texts that nurture my soul. reading, next to writing, is one of the most effective tools we can leverage for self-discovery and re-creation. reading helps us make sense of ourselves and the world around us. For these 30 minute sessions, I will read and annotate “The Power of Now,” The Quran, and “Don’t Settle for Safe.” I’ll add more spiritual texts to the mix as I finish these.
I am a Muslima. I don't pray consistently. (notice I don't say "but"... I am still a muslima despite my lack of prayer). I used to believe that I didn’t connect to god in that way, but I think that was just a way for me to write it off and not have to dig deeper. In order to start getting ready, I will use my 30 minutes in the morning to get comfortable talking to God. This is the part of my #roadtopresence that is most unclear to me, because I have never been able to do it consistently, but I am looking forward to being more connected.
I used to “meditate” when I did yoga, but I know my mind was everywhere else, so in reality, i wasn't actually meditating. meditation will be the most difficult practice in this #roadtopresence, but possibly equally rewarding. It is so hard for me to be present. To focus on the moment. To resist urges to plan the day, plan my outfit, plan my meals. I truly believe that if I give myself these 30 minutes to simply “be,” I will get them back throughout my day - tenfold. as my #roadtopresence unfolds, i will start seeing the ways in which i have been walking with god all along.
So why am I committing to this resolution instead of a health/fitness goal like I normally do? Because I need to get to the root of a problem that I hadn’t previously been able to diagnose or treat. Lack of presence affects everything we do. It affects our mood, it affects our ability to forge meaningful relationships, it affects our studies, it affects our workout regimen, it affects our mental health, it affects our ability to produce good ideas, it affects our follow-through, it affects our moral compass, the list truly goes on.
With that being said, becoming more connected - to God, to the world, to ourselves - will lead to a better you on all of these fronts. You will do better, you will feel better and you will be better, at everything and anything you do. I'm ready for something new this 2018, so the #roadtopresence begins.
I chose 2018 as my time to start this in part to build on the momentum of a New Year’s Resolution, but mostly because I will be done applying to schools and will be able to focus all of my energy on getting ready. Getting ready for school, getting ready for 2018, getting ready for productivity, and getting ready to be the best version of myself to date. We all need to get ready, every day, regardless what our aspirations are. What are you getting ready for?
COMMENT BELOW AND LET US KNOW!