“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” Budda
ENJOY: Take delight or pleasure in.
IN JOY: “joie de vivre” a keen or buoyant enjoyment of life. A way of being and living in the moment – Bliss
The other day, as I was finishing a conversation on the phone, the other person on the line said to me, enjoy your day. I started thinking about what it means to enjoy something as an action vs. live in a state of joy as a way of being, a way of living in the moment.
How to Live in the Moment.
As a mom and grandma, I ENJOY spending time with my kids and grandkids. I take pleasure and delight in doing things with them. They came over, and we all went outside into the gardens. The grandkids run all over the yard and gardens picking flowers, sampling berries from the berry bushes, and hunting for caterpillars and worms in the mulch.
Children are some of the best teachers for how to live in the moment. We could probably fill a library (a small one) with all of the books that have been written on mindfulness and how to live in the moment. But spend a day with a young child and be fully present to who they are and how you are being with them, and you will gain a new appreciation for living in the moment.
I read an article recently about several ways to stay present in the moment. The list included:
- Fully appreciate each moment of the day.
- Forgive yourself and others.
- Love what you do.
- Dream about the future
- Don’t worry
Throughout our day together, the grandkids are ENJOYING all the fun things at grandma’s place. Grandma is ENJOYING watching them, running after them, and finding vases for their flowers. I draw the line at keeping the caterpillars and worms, though. However, I suspect they may have found a way to hide a worm or two to take home.
Living In Joy.
They are living in the moment, living IN JOY of running, exploring, and collecting the treasures of the moment. Neuroscience tells us why young children can live in the moment. Lost in the allure of a caterpillar crawling across their path, totally oblivious to the fact that mom is running late and doesn’t have time for a caterpiller. A young child’s brain has a limited amount of storage space that will give them the long-term memory needed to understand the concept of time. That area of their brains where the comprehension of time develops fills in later.
So today they will live with me in the moments of a purple flower, a ripe red raspberry, sweet and tart, in the mouth simultaneously. The wiggly, tickly sensation of a giant worm as it tries to wiggle out of the youngest pudgy hand and back into the safety of the mulch. Then, in the next moment, something else catches their attention, and they are off to fully explore and delight in the simple pleasure of a butterfly, walking stick bug, or ladybug.
Lunch is more “bugs” from the vegetable garden. We pick carrots, cucumbers, peppers, chives, parsley, and cherry tomatoes for our “buggy” lunch creations. If your kids don’t like to eat their veggies – these veggie bugs might convince them that veggies aren’t so yucky after all.
As I watch them, I realize that I am also fully IN JOY of each moment as I run after them. Help them hunt for and pick the berries. Hold the bunches of flowers they collect – being careful not to drop any and exclaiming in astonishment at the big and wonderful worms, the giant beetle, or the butterfly as it flutters by.
There are the times we snuggle together on the couch IN JOY as I read a book or spend time with them in Grammy’s craft room. In those moments, I am ENJOYING the moments of connection and co-creating with them something only they would imagine. We will start with paper, glue, and scissors, and when finished, we have experienced an epic adventure of sailing the seas (a takeout container filled with water) as a pompom creature in a circular boat. We faced giant waves, fire breathing dragons (compliments of the oldest granddaughter). We dove down into the deep, hunting for hidden treasure, guarded by the creatures in the depths of the takeout container. We floated lazily on our backs under the stars as we told stories about the star people—all in the space of a couple of hours, composed of timeless moments and unforgettable memories.
As I contemplated how I spent my day with the grandchildren, I realized that we checked every item on the list for living in the moment.
- Did we Smile – You Bet!
- Fully appreciate each moment of the day – Absolutely!
- Forgive yourself and others – Today, yes!
- Love what you do – Love and joy were ever-present.
- Dream about the future – We had big dreams and big imaginations.
- Don’t worry – not today.
How often I forget to live IN JOY and in the generous present moment. How often I forget, as the responsibilities of being an adult, growing a business, being a wife, and life take all my focus. Next time I see a child living IN JOY of the moment, which is how children live – in the moment. I plan to stop and remind myself of the importance of being, like my grandchildren, IN JOY as much as I can.
My answer to the person on the phone is, thank you, I will remember to be IN JOY throughout my day.