Let’s get down to business about what needs to happen right now. Let’s get all groovy and Zen and stop what we’re doing to focus on this very minute, right now.
And I’m certainly no expert, but I do know what helps me to live in this moment, what helps me to be in The Right Now and not fret about tomorrow or stew on yesterday.
Right now, I want you to stop what you are doing (which is hopefully reading this essay with wide-eyed astonishment and bated breath as you hang on every drop of profundity) and go tell the ones you love that you love them. Do it. Turn to the person closest and say I love you. If you are not with your loved ones, go call them. Or send an email. Or write it on their Facebook page. Or scribble a post-it note and stick it on someone’s pillow or computer monitor. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Right now I want you to take a deep breath. Reach inside and pull in the white clean air that surrounds us everywhere. You may not see it all the time, but it’s there. Believe me. Then exhale and push out old stale dark air and all of the bad thoughts and feelings that have been building up inside for the past few hours or days or years.
Time to smile. Even if you don’t feel happy. Smile anyway. Some really smart science people have done studies proving that exercising your smile muscles actually increases your level of joy and happiness.
Time to laugh. (Q: What did the first strawberry say to the second strawberry? A: If you weren’t so fresh, we wouldn’t be in this jam.)
Time to take those bad feelings we talked about earlier and close your eyes and imagine that you write them all down on a piece of paper. Then throw that pretend piece of paper in a pretend garbage can and set the garbage can on fire and burn the damn thing down. (In your mind, folks, in your mind. No arson charges on my watch, please.)
Time to eat good food. Don’t worry about the calories — just keep the portions small. Drink wine with friends. (Again with the small portions if you are driving or you are a lightweight like me.) Make cookies with your daughter. Frost cupcakes with your son.
Time to chase your toddler down the hall and tickle her until she screams.
Time to forget about the housework and sit for two hours in that rocking chair and sing to your baby. The dust bunnies can wait.
Time to sit with your big kid and ask about her day. Then look into her eyes when she answers. Don’t check your email or play with your phone or turn on the game.
Time to turn up the music that gives you goosebumps without feeling embarrassed that Justin Timberlake makes you cry.
And now, it’s time to turn off the computer or put down the magazine and quit reading this. Time to love the one you’re with.
Bio: Robin Dutton-Cookston is a writer and editor who lives in San Francisco. Check out her blog at The Foggiest Idea.
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Photo credit Wide Face City Clock by Erskine Rivera MErskine