It’s hard to believe yet another year is over! Every New Years Eve for the last 20, I’ve found myself thinking the same thing. Beyond the usual ‘close of a chapter, opening of the next’ inspired reflections, our eldest son Jordan’s birthday on 2nd of January is another reminder of the progress of time. Few things provide such dramatic evidence of time marching on than a growing boy. One minute Jordan was a tiny baby and the next a 6ft 5in 20-year old university student taking the final steps towards an independent life.
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly kids learn and change. Observing my kids rapidly morphing into adults has inspired me to contemplate what I can do to capture more of the moments we have left with them growing up at home. As this year draws to a close I find myself wondering how I can slow down the next one; even if just a little. While like most parents we have loads of photos of our kids doing stuff, capturing an image of a moment isn’t the same as capturing the spirit of the experience.
What I’ve come to realise is the memories that live on in my heart, those I recall most vividly, are those created when I’ve been fully present in the moment. When we connect deeply with our experiences through our emotions we create stronger imprints on our psyche that allow us to go back to these times easily. Contemplate when you have been fully present – when you have felt loving energy flow between you and another person, observed the details of a special moment unfolding, been part of a life changing experience. Reflect on how clearly you are able to recall these memories and how good it feels.
Feelings create powerful memories that retain so much more of our experiences than merely the dates and times of events. The trick is allowing your self to be present and connected enough to feel each experience. We can choose to be present, to connect and to feel the moments we find ourselves in; or mindlessly go through the motions of being present in body but not soul. Reflect on when you have absent while present at an important even, how often to do you allow being at busy work or dealing with mundane priorities to cause you to be distracted in special moments. Are there conversations you could or should be having with people if you created more time?
Among my new years resolutions for 2014 is to slow down and create lasting memories by being present in important moments, allowing myself to feel each experience. Contemplate what moments you might miss if you don’t sign up to be there, not just in body but also in mind and spirit. Choosing to slow down time and be more present in the moment is also an important focus for the Ryan Gately team this year. Two ways we will put theory into practice that you may like to consider also are:
- Create time to reflect – with another busy year a head ‘work in progress’ could easily dominate our focus during team meetings. To achieve our vision and goals however we need to regularly take time to stop and reflect on our approaches and progress. By choosing to step away from the day to day we will create the opportunity to make considered decisions that not only ‘make sense’ but also feel right.
- Leave electronic devices outside meeting rooms – while we’re pretty good most of the time, members of our team have been known to allow phone calls and email checking to interfere with our meetings. Despite best intentions the reality is its not possible to be fully present when distracted with electronic forms of communication.
Observe more, understand more, learn more and gain so much more from the experiences you live by choosing to be present in each moment. The life we create is ultimately a reflection of the choices we make in each of these moments. Be present and make those choices consciously and deliberately. Happy New year!