I find power in others telling their stories and I hope you do too!
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Wandering Urban Outfitters a few weeks ago, I found myself amused by the book collection they had. I wrote down a few books I'd love to buy someday but there was one I definitely couldn't pass up in the moment. It's called I am here now and is "A creative mindfulness guide and journal" from The Mindfulness Project. See how I couldn't pass it up? It just seemed so perfect.
I haven't worked through all of the exercises yet but I've enjoyed many of them for sure. I was already in love after the first page. I had to fill in information about myself and draw a self-portrait.
But my favorite part was that underneath the box were these words:
"It is what it is."
Sometime in the fall I stayed home with our six-year-old because he wasn't feeling well. He had recently begged us for a Twitter account so he could follow the Twitter account his class has at school and I warned him that he wasn't supposed to tweet since he was sick.
So of course, what did he do? He secretly tweeted his class, telling them he was home sick and "It is what it is."
Which made me laugh but also wonder where he came up with that...until I heard myself saying it. Suddenly, every time I uttered these words, they stood out to me and I realized he got these words from me. Sometimes I have moments like this when I realize just how much I influence my kids but it also lets me learn about myself. I can see myself in them.
Then I saw these words on the first page of this notebook: "It is what it is." I underlined them right away. Yes. These are my words. It is what it is. And when we are faced with what is, we need to take a deep breath and decide how to proceed. But if I've learned anything about being mindful, it's that we have to accept every moment for what it is and decide how to move forward. Dwelling on the past isn't helpful and looking too far into the future isn't always helpful either. Focus on the here and now and do what you can with what you have. Whether it's about enjoying it or accepting it, doing something about it or moving on, first we have to open our eyes and see what it is.
As 2016 comes to an end, I'm especially thinking about the words, "It is what it is." I'm taking a breath and realizing there are some things that as much as I wish they weren't true and that as much as I wish I could wake up and find that it's all been a dream, I just can't. So I have to remind myself, it is what it is, and now I have to decide what to do next. 2017 is a new year and I'm feeling more ready, excited, and anxious as ever to make the world a better place. Being mindful helps me feel centered but also helps me be in a better place to make an impact on more than just myself.
It's surprising how little time we take to focus on ourselves but how important it is. If you're looking for a book to get started in exploring mindfulness, this is definitely a great book for you to explore!