crepemyrtles

Be present in the present

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About Katie Fox

Katie is a writer, a teacher, a mezzo-soprano, and a lover of all things red. She and her husband Shaun are passionate about mentoring and equipping artists of all kinds. Find her online at katiefox.net.

As you start this week, may you experience rest and contentment in finding yourself exactly where you are, both literally and figuratively. There is a time for being a mover and a shaker, a person who makes it happen. But there is also a time for being still, in the moment, listening, waiting, and resting.

Don’t be tempted to let yourself get caught up in the rush of the season. Where I live in Central Texas, schools are letting out for the summer this week and next. There’s a sense of barely-restrained ecstasy in the air, almost frantic with anticipation for the end of the early morning wake-ups, the morning rush out the door to the bus stop or the car pool line, the evenings spent doing homework.

But before we get there, don’t forget to be present in the present, and receive the gifts that are here for you today. Stop. Listen. Observe. Inhale. Taste. Touch.

Pay attention to your senses today and let them guide you to the beauty that is all around, right in front of your eyes, just waiting to bring you delight.

The sweet whispers in your ear from your children when you’re putting them to bed at night. I know, it’s so easy to rush through the bedtime routine so you can collapse on the couch with Netflix and a glass of wine (or is it just me?). This week, try not to rush, but to be present.

The meals shared with family and friends around the table. I know, it can be hard to linger over a meal together, to sit and savor, when everyone must hurry off to practices and rehearsals and lessons, household members scattering to the four corners. This week, find at least one night when you can stay put, slow down, and enjoy. Be present.

The changing seasons – spring, in all its fullness, giving way to the newborn fruits of summer. It’s so easy to speed along in our hustle and bustle and never notice the beauty of creation, living and breathing all around us. Last week, my husband sent me a message that simply said, “The crepe myrtles are blooming!” The next time I went out, I noticed. Beautiful. This week, find time to take a walk or go the park. Be present.

And for those readers in the United States observing Memorial Day today, or Americans living abroad, may we also stop and remember our many freedoms and those who gave their lives to earn those freedoms for us. We can honor their sacrifice by living in this manner, being present to the moments of joy and beauty and life all around us – this is a life worth living. May you find those moments to be abundant and rich this week, and be blessed.

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Comments

  1. This is a lovely reminder, Katie, as I sit here in upper state New York, just arrived a few days ago from Istanbul, and now on my way to Texas tomorrow. So easy for my mind to just race to the next thing, the next plane, the next stop on our two month furlough stateside. I don’t want to miss the gifts of today!

  2. My boys finished school last Thursday. So happy for this season of slowing down!

  3. Thank you, I have taken 3 days off this week to just “be”. This is a wonderful post to read to set the tone.

  4. I’ve just added a lot to my plate all at once, and I really needed this reminder. Just this afternoon I was letting the crazy of the coming week overwhelm my today – when in fact today’s day off is quiet, peaceful, and just waiting today to be enjoyed. Thank you!

    • Letting our future stress rob us of our present joy – it’s so easy to do that, isn’t it? Staying present is the challenge but so worthwhile.

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    Jessica W. says:

    Beautiful. Thank you!

  6. Good advice for every day, but certainly during these last two crazy weeks of school. My granddaughters were in a wedding and celebrated their birthdays this weekend, and we have open house at school, two dance recitals, and end-of-school celebrations scheduled. It is so easy to overlook the small moments in the overall rush to “get it done”. – Fawn

  7. I thought about two examples you mentioned just today: That I needed to relax during bedtimes (instead of looking forward to finally putting all the kids in bed and having time to myself) and to enjoy my meals (however frantic they may be).

    Just this weekend I made this awesome goat cheese tomato salad and I forced myself to stop scarfing it down. It’s French food for crying out loud, and here I was inhaling the darn thing, thinking that I needed to in case my kids needed something and heaven forbid I was still eating and enjoying my salad. So silly, I know, but this was a good reminder to do just that.

    • That salad sounds delicious! I think a lot of us became speed-eaters when our kiddos came along….then, once they’re older, we have to re-train ourselves to slow down!

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    Allison says:

    Thank you so much for this reminder. I have three sick boys at home and we are leaving for vacation on Saturday. I am so grateful to have read this to help me slow down and focus on the important things and not stress about the little things,

  9. What a beautiful read to start the day… And so appropriate. The season has been hectic and time to slow down and be still has been hard to find.

    Thank you for the reminder.
    xo

  10. Thank you fro this reminder Katie!

  11. I truly appreciate this, thank you. Our whirlwind last few weeks have been too much of a good thing with school events and my business (enrichment for children) year wrap up.

    Thank you for this important reminder. After a two day quick trip to see family over the weekend, we are all tired and cranky as I look at a huge list of chores and preparations. I think we will take today off. We will relax, read, go for a walk, plan a little, and just be. Tomorrow we can start the massive laundry, organization, rearrangement, etc. It can all wait until tomorrow.

  12. Katie,

    Thanks for your inspiration to stop and be present. I love the reminder!

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