Today I am filled with love and gratitude as I celebrate my daughter, Kelci's 18th birthday. It seems so surreal. It feels like yesterday when I would braid her beautiful platinum blond hair, and make her pretty little dresses for Easter or Christmas. She grew up so fast. I feel like the last 10 years whizzed by. She is now employed, applying to colleges, and enjoying greater independence. As a parent, I am so excited for her, but I also feel sad that she is almost ready to launch. The days continue to go by. As they do, I am reminded of the song, Cats in the Cradle by Cat Stevens. Life has a way of eating up our precious time with loved ones. There is always so much to do, and rarely the quality time to just be together. I remember when Kelci was small and slept in a loft bed. I would lay on the floor and do a relaxation meditation for her to fall asleep.Those were precious moments now held fondly within my memory, and of course in my heart. There were many such precious moments. I continue to capture those moments as both my girls contiue to grow and mature and become more independent.
As I teach others, it is important to learn how to live in the present. In this way, you are less likely to live with regret. For instance, being present to the moment means that you are actually mindful of the experience you are participaiting in it, rather than longing for the past or wishing for the future. In being in the present you are able to actually enjoy it more fully. And then when the present moment passes, you will not feel as if you need to bring it back. You can readily embrace the next moment
Days go by. I no longer need to braid her beautiful hair, but greatly enjoy the occasional pedicure together or talking about her day. Similarly, I enjoy being with Marissa, my 13 year old, who is following quickly in her sisters footsteps. There is a busy-ness to our lives that I know will not always be there. Yet I would never change it. I simply need to insure that I take the time to be with them.
No matter what your current life offers, be mindful in your living. Do not allow the hours or days to pass without your recognition and appreciation. Practice the Buddhist philosophy of Be Here Now.
Do not dwell on the past, you cannot bring it back. Do not worry about the future, it is going to be whatever it is. Be present to today and savor the joyful moments.