One of the happiest days of my life happened last weekend: My daughter got married. Yes, a COVID wedding with all the precautions. They actually have very cool masks for the bride and groom and of course I had to get one of those as well.
I am not sure where to start. When I think about how special it was, of course it was. It was my daughter’s wedding so how can it not be special. Yet, there was more than just being my daughter’s wedding.
My daughter did the planning and I was just the support and helper with what she wanted. I questioned some of her choices, but also knew that it was her wedding, not mine, so I left her to it.
She kept it simple. I was worried it was too simple as she had decided on burritos from Chipotle for cuisine. There were no speeches and no bridesmaids or groomsmen. No wedding cake but rather cupcakes and ice-cream along with cookies. It was held outdoors in a backward. The service was personal and casual. There were games you could play in the yard and on the tables. The first dance was done right after the service.
After the wedding, so many people commented on how beautiful the wedding was and how it was the best wedding they had been to, because it was so personal, and was about my daughter and her fiancé. It was not about doing what was typical or what others think is right including me. The meal was from their favorite place to eat and the dessert was also their favorite dessert. The games were what they loved to play. It was truly just enjoyable for all, but especially for my daughter and her now husband. It is a day they will remember.
How many times do you hear a couple say they were so stressed on their wedding day that they did not get to enjoy it? When I think about that, I think about how often we all tend to do what we think we should do rather than what is true for ourselves. We get caught up in these should do, must do, or what we think is the right thing to do.
Jay Shetty, author of “Think Like A Monk” (and yes I highly recommend the book), shared “We speak about being healthy and our well-being, but we act more like human doings than we do like human beings. Therefore, instead of to-do lists we need to-be lists. Instead of thinking about what you want to do, think about who you want to be. Do you want to be more self-aware? Do you want to be more conscious? Do you want to be a better person? Do you want to be a difference in the world? We need to move away from what we want to do in situations to who we want to be in situations.”
Think about if we really incorporated this idea into our lives. What difference do you think it would make? Actually, a lot This is something I have spent many years working on. It sounds so simple, yet putting it into practice daily is not that easy. We tend to want to go back to what we know, which is relying on our brains to just get us through life, rather than allowing ourselves to slow down and experience our life. We move so fast and have so much to do that sometimes it does not allow us the time to experience what we are doing.
One thing I have learned in life and have put it in quote form: “Don’t rush, you won’t get there any faster’.”
It seems to not make sense and yet, by paying more attention to our experience we are less likely to make mistakes, or get distracted or side tracked and be more methodical.
When we experience life through being present, we are happier, more content, need less, feel more satisfied, content and happy. The more we get stuck in doing we find that we are less satisfied with our lives, stressed, more anxious and often searching for something outside of ourselves to feel better, happier, or satisfied.
I find by beginning my day with some form of meditation starts off my day with the way I want to continue it. That is not the only way to get present in the mornings. Maybe it is prayer, yoga, reading, having a cup of tea while sitting peacefully, focusing on our breath, exercise. It is whatever enables you to get connected with ourselves.
Even when I know how good it feels to be present to my experiences, I still have to bring myself back into alignment with this way of being. It does get easier with time; however, it does not take much to distract me from this way of being.
But just like anything, we stop, be kind to ourselves, and bring ourselves back into alignment of “being” rather than “doing.”