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  • Writer's pictureSeanne N. Murray, Esq.

Grounded in the Present: A Steep Hill and a Mindful Walk


In our fast-paced world, the concept of keeping your head down may seem counterintuitive. We often associate it with lessening our strength or missing out on opportunities. However, keeping our head down has less to do with weakness and more to do with staying focused without fear of what lies ahead.


Picture this: I was out on a peaceful walk, and as I looked ahead, I noticed a steep hill looming before me. My mind immediately raced, contemplating whether I should turn right or left to avoid the ascent. But then, a thought occurred to me: what if I simply paid attention to the ground beneath my feet? What if I concentrated on each step I took without lifting my gaze? Surprisingly, this approach worked wonders. It didn't feel like a steep hill at all, and I continued my journey mindfully and peacefully. This experience made me reflect on how we often set strict limits disguised as goals, whether in the gym, at work, or in our personal lives. What if we abandoned the rigid constraints of time and quantity and instead focused on doing something until we felt complete or had enough? Could this be a more liberating way to live?


Consider the way we approach food. How often do we eat without truly considering whether we're hungry or why we're eating? What if we approached eating with mindfulness, pondering where our food comes from, how it nourishes our bodies, and why we're consuming it? This shift in perspective could transform our relationship with food, fostering gratitude, intention, and purpose in our daily lives.


Transforming Moments: The Path to Joy and Fulfillment


This philosophy extends beyond food and exercise; it's a way of life. It encourages us to view every moment as an opportunity for transformation. Instead of removing obstacles or boundaries, we seek to transform them into meaningful experiences. We allow these moments to guide us toward achieving our goals, or perhaps, we discover new purposes we were previously unaware of. Ultimately, it's about finding joy and fulfillment in the act of doing, rather than constantly chasing distant goals.


As I've grown older, I've learned to be more present, less preoccupied with the past or future. I've also become more selective in what I share with others, particularly when it comes to bad news. I confide in people who can hold space for my troubles, knowing that they too understand the concept of transforming negativity into positive outcomes.


Staying present creates a space with less tension and anxiety about the unknown. It reminds me of a drawing class exercise I once took in Soho. We were asked to replicate a drawing of a horse by looking at it upside down. Surprisingly, it was easy, and when we turned it around, we had a perfect replica. This exercise, along with others like drawing the space between things to draw the thing, taught us the power of focusing on the present, and on what we actually see rather than symbols of the same, without getting distracted by preconceived notions or judgments.


Navigating the Digital Age Mindfully


In today's digital age, social media can be a powerful tool for staying connected and informed. However, it can also be a potent distraction that pulls us away from ourselves, our inner power, and our purpose. The constant stream of events, thoughts, and images can isolate us, hindering our ability to be present. It's essential to strike a balance and use social media mindfully.


Reflecting on my childhood sans social media and handheld technology, I recall spending countless hours gazing at clouds, watching them gracefully shift and merge into various shapes. The slow, fluid movement of clouds reminded me that everything is in constant motion, nothing remains stagnant. This realization is exhilarating because it means there's nothing to fear, and there's no need to cling tightly to circumstances, be they good, bad, or otherwise. Embracing the idea that life is in perpetual motion can free us from the chains of fear and attachment.


By living mindfully and embracing life's constant motion, we can find peace, purpose, and liberation in every step of our journey. So, the next time you're faced with a daunting hill, remember to keep your head down, stay present, and let the transformation begin.


Seanne


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