One of my courses this semester is Psychology of Journalism. We learn how to include psychological analyses in an article to deepen the meaning of a topic, or give a new perspective backed by scientific study. But we also learn various practices of psychology; ie. how to use writing, photojournalism etc as a means for living a more mindful existence.
Every time I leave these two hour lectures and attend the weekly labs, I feel a great sense of calm and openness. I look at this class as a yoga session for my mind.
My Professor (a neuroscientist-slash-journalist...casual) introduced me to Alan M. Watts (I love him and the way his mind works) and his book The Wisdom of Insecurity. I like books that make you pause and think differently.
The video above is from part of an Alan M. Watts speech that gives me small shivers.
I, myself, spend way too much time planning for the future and in turn, dwelling on the past, that I miss what is happening right now.
I thought being back in a learning environment would allow me more time to focus on the present, but my habits are so ingrained that even here, during one of the happiest phases of my life, I find myself thinking too much about things I could have done differently in the past and worrying about what's next!
One point from a recent lecture that has stuck in my mind is that each day is made up of 20,000 moments (a moment can be 3 seconds long). Most of them are mundane, routine things (ie. getting out of bed, brushing teeth, showering, driving to work etc) that we go through on autopilot. Yet, the opportunity to live mindfully and embrace even the smallest task is available to us 20,000 times a day.
I look at my cute little cousins easter egg hunting with my family on the weekend and how FULLY they are living in the moment. They haven't lived long enough to dwell on the past and they don't know enough to worry about the future. They are using their 20,000 moments to the highest potential. Everything is new. Everything is NOW.
[Photo Sources: @gracehj2 // @sdeschulthess]
The present moment is all we are really guaranteed. I usually fail to savor it because my mind is often someplace else (whether consciously or unconsciously).
This course I'm taking, reading Alan M. Watts (among others), my sweet little cherub cousins, my inspiring sisters / parents (a constant source of wisdom and sage advice) are the best reminders (and I sure do need it every now and then) to
L I V E F U L L Y N O W
Note: These were taken at Norway Bay, a place that always inspires me to be present and enjoy the little moments.