Kind Promise: I will experience this moment. 

Yesterday, I watched an interview with artist Ann Rea, whom I admire because she does beautiful work and markets her work creatively. By the end of the interview, however, I found myself blowing a raspberry in her direction. Asked to define a good life, she mentioned freedom from fear and others’ expectations, being authentic and serving others. Then she interrupted herself to talk about having basic needs met and said, “health is at the top of the list. You have to be healthy to enjoy these things.” That was the point at which I made my considered and mature comment at the computer screen.

I was not having a good morning. I had awakened sluggish and pain-filled and was convincing myself that life is worth living. Snowy traffic problems awaited my loved ones as they went off to work and school. I reminded myself that this is my “mindfulness” month. Focusing on the present moment, even if I am tired and achy, I realize that all is well.

As my health and body age and decline, I want to embrace this as a daily practice:

  • notice how I feel in body, mind and spirit
  • return to the present moment, being grateful for my life and breath
  • recommit to authentic, engaged living

I agree with Ann Rea right up until she interrupts herself. She shifts from internal choices (authenticity, engagement) to external circumstance. Circumstances are beyond my control: I have never been a healthy adult. (I was diagnosed with MS at age 20.)   That is something I cannot change.

My internal situation is something I can change. I realize that training myself to choose peace and happiness has been my major activity for the last several years and, I imagine, I will be at it until I die. My internal garden requires tending. The good news is I enjoy the effort.

Thank goodness, health is not a prerequisite for joy. I prove to myself every day that joy comes when I step into the present moment and choose it.