The future ain’t what it used to be. Yogi Berra
This time of year, my younger daughter plays in a basketball league on weekends. It is a small league consisting of girls between the ages of 9 and 12. A few weeks ago, I was watching a game and found myself getting uptight about a few plays that my daughter’s team made. I felt this strong wanting for them to win which was causing me to view every move as good or bad on the road to victory or defeat. When I realized the pattern of my thoughts, I was able to pull back for a moment with my breath and start to watch the game with no judgment. Sure I wanted my daughter’s team to win, but I was able to just watch the game with an open mind. I saw the excitement and determination in each girl’s face. I saw interesting moves on both sides and watched the coaches guide their teams. I took joy in the youth and vigor of each young player. It was so fascinating to go from being on a roller coaster of being slightly perturbed, frustrated and excited to an even ease of deeper enjoyment.
So what really happened when I was watching the game? I became mindful of the experience in front of me. One could argue that this was an easy exercise of mindfulness because it was a child’s basketball game with little consequence in the big scheme of my family’s life. Others could say they like the feeling of angst and wanting during a sporting event like a child’s game or a game with their favorite professional sports team. Yet for me it is an interesting exercise of being present and enjoying every moment even though I still preferred a certain outcome.
Wouldn’t it be a relief if we could apply this idea to more important situations such as when our children apply to college or we look for a new job, or hope to meet someone new? Wouldn’t it be great to want certain things and not give up the peace and enjoyment of the moment to stress and worry about the future? Although I was able to become present during the basketball game, when things are really important to me I often need a little more help. I have found this help with the mindset of Maybe. I realized that it was not my goals and hopes taking me out of the moment, but instead my attachment to what each event in my life meant for my future. I have no idea what it means if I don’t get a client or my child does not get into her first choice school. Maybe it is good, Maybe it will get better, Maybe there is something important to learn in front of me or Maybe EVERYTHING IS STILL OKAY. I can hold on to my goals with the realization that life can unfold in so many different ways. If I am so busy judging what this moment means for tomorrow, I will not enjoy my life and stay open to all that can happen from whatever I am experiencing.
So give it try. See if you can shift your perspective like I did at my daughter’s basketball game and enjoy the present without worrying about what it means for the future. Or, embrace some Maybe in your life and watch your stress and worry turn into hope and possibility. Either way, enjoy the best gift of life – the present.
Allison is a business consultant, business and life coach and the author of The Gift of Maybe: Offering Hope and Possibility in Uncertain times. O The Oprah Magazine included the concept of Maybe as an example of “mindblowing new definitions for everyday words” and cited it in their new and improved Dictionary to Enlightenment. Allison’s work has also been supported by Mata Amritandamayi, known as Amma, the hugging saint. Since the publication of The Gift of Maybe, she has written numerous articles for several popular online magazines including Psychology Today, Huffington Post, Inc.com, and Thrive Global, Next Avenue and MindBodyGreen. Allison’s podcast, 10 Minutes To Less Suffering, focuses on helping people alleviate daily stress and worry. The podcast has over 100,000 downloads and is gaining in popularity. Allison’s work is also regularly featured on the podcast, Optimal Living Daily, a top ten podcast in the self-help genre, and is the coach-on-call on AM 970’s “the Answer.” Her online and television appearances include HuffPost Live and Manhattan Cable Television. Allison has spoken at my events around New York City including at Barnes & Noble Tribeca and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Allison’s work has been featured in many print and online publications including but not limited to: Oprah.com, Success Magazine, Inc.com, LifeHacker.com and Mariashriver.com. Allison is also a sought-after guest in broadcast media including CBS Radio, NPR’s All Things Considered and AM 970/New York (CYACYL), Allison has B.A. in accounting, a J.D. of Law, and a Master’s of Law in taxation. Allison is also a certified health coach, a life and business coach/consultant, as well as a Reiki master and energy healer. After working for a large law firm in Manhattan, she founded her own firm and built a successful practice including real estate law, corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and trust and estates. Gradually, she evolved her practice into business consulting and coaching and narrowed her client list to CEOs of multi-million dollar companies, business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals going through career or other life changes. Currently, Allison also serve as part-time CFO of the Motherhood Center in New York City, a multi-million dollar revenue all-women company providing care to women who are suffering with postpartum depression. You can view some of Allison’s work on the following:
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