Once upon a time, a man was walking through the jungle. Sensing a presence, the man looked over his shoulder and saw a tiger slinking through the foliage, following him. Quickening his pace, the fellow followed the path he was on until he reached a cliff. Looking back once again, he saw the tiger was still there and coming closer. Standing with his toes over the edge, the man noticed that there was a vine running down the cliff face and he swung out onto the vine in order to escape the tiger. Just as he quickly lowered himself down, the tiger jumped. Slashing over the edge with her paw, the tiger narrowly missed catching the man as he made his decent.
As the man started to work his way down the cliff face, he looked down to the bottom and saw yet another tiger, the mate of the one at the top. The tigers settled down to wait. Hanging there, the man saw that two mice, a white one and a black one, had started gnawing on the vine above his head. It was only a matter of time before the vine would give way. Looking off to one side, he noticed a wild strawberry gleaming crimson in the sunlight. He picked it, put it in his mouth and tasted… How sweet it was.
Worrying about the future and missing the sweetness of the moment seems to be a way of life for most people. Of course, there are plenty of things to worry about today, if that is what you are used to. There was plenty to worry about in our parents’ day also and in our grandparents’ and so on back through time. And yet they survived. We are all a living testament to that. Perhaps we worry as a part of the culture we were raised in, as a survival strategy, passed down from generation to generation. Have you ever stopped to think that worry is not an integral part of well-being but something extra, unneeded and unexamined that we have absorbed from those around us?
You can taste the wild strawberries that exist around you in your everyday life by being here in this moment, rather than worrying about things you cannot immediately do anything about, such as the state of the world, global warming, political conflict, wars, etc. Those things do exist, but in this moment so does the chair you are sitting in, the air you are breathing and the floor under your feet.
Perhaps you tend to worry about something more personal, such as your finances, the state of your relationship, or your health. Well, does worrying actually accomplish anything positive? Worry is the mind’s projection of possible futures, based on what we have experienced or known from the past.
Being Here in this moment is the great transformational agent. If you are actually engaged in being here, then life does not have to repeat itself. Unknown creative solutions can present themselves and if you are here, you are available to see them.
There is a Country Western song by Tim McGraw called, “Live Like You Were Dying.” It is about a man who discovered he had a potentially terminal disease and goes out and does all the things he only dreamt of doing…and many he hadn’t even considered: riding a bull, going fishing, being a true friend, talking sweeter, loving deeper and giving forgiveness he had been denying to others.
For the most part, we don’t live our lives as though it is our last day. There are things we do which, if we were dying, we would never indulge in. If the end were near, we wouldn’t be wasting those few precious moments. The trick is in discovering how to maintain this sense of urgency and vitality without threatening oneself with dire circumstances such as imminent death. Although “Live Like You Were Dying” is just a song, it is representative of what can happen if you engage in your life without preference, without listening to the story of whether or not you feel like doing something and without thinking that this moment doesn’t matter.
How do you engage in your life as if this moment matters when you are truly out of touch with that, and are lost in a loop of worry, you might ask? Well, you could start by washing your dishes, making your bed, cleaning up your office, completing those things that have been incomplete and that you ignore by worrying about other things. What if worry was just a sophisticated way to procrastinate? Have you ever considered that if you are really busy, fully engaged, getting things done, you rarely have time or interest in complaining about your life?
So, if you need a place to start, look around you. Handling any little incompletion is a great start. Then move on to the next thing. You might start with the things you like to do first. Get in a rhythm. Then keep including what’s next. You will be pleasantly surprised how, as you handle the minutia of your life, the answers to how to handle the “big” things magically appear.
This Post Has 32 Comments
Thank you for this article! This was exactly what I needed to hear/read. I hadn’t realized it, but I had been worrying about the future and these words brought me back to right here and I can suddenly feel again just how sweet my life is.
Sweet to hear that your life is Sweet!
Perfect timing! I am up in the middle of the night (in Germany) not able to sleep and worrying that this will keep me from having the energy I need to handle my day tomorrow. The more I worried and resisted not sleeping the less I was able to sleep. Well now after reading this I feel myself relaxing and my eyes are getting heavy… Good night y’all. I’ll just see tomorrow how it goes when I hAndle one thing after the next. Bet it will be fine.
Hope you enjoyed a good night’s sleep – and if you didn’t hope you enjoyed being awake! Late nights can be wonderfully creative if you aren’t complaining that you can’t sleep. 🙂
Lovely article; Great, practical information to ground myself back into being!
Thanks Madhu – Transformation is very practical! Happy to hear you found the article lovely, too.
What a great article! I am a Banker and as June 30th approaches, “quarter end” is an extremely busy time where I work. Worry can sneak into my thought processes as I wonder if I will complete my tasks in a timely manner. It’s true – tasks take twice as long when I’m lost in thought worrying! After reading this article I’m feeling relaxed and looking forward to being at work, getting engaged with the work that’s in front of me, seeing what needs to be done, and finding my rhythm. I will have to report back & let you all know how it goes! Thanks for the brilliant article!!
We wouldn’t be surprised if there is a culture of complaint for the “extremely busy time”. If you don’t resist that but simply become aware of it you can enjoy the process instead! Thanks for commenting Colleen!
Just what I needed! My mind was racing about a work issue. We lost a large account today and I started worrying about how this might affect my income and job security. My mind played out these horrible scenarios… I would lose my job, never be able get another job, have no money… Thinking about this now I am laughing to myself… It’s so simple… Look out and see what is in front of me. What incompletions are there? I am so happy I saw this article and instead of thinking “I’m way too busy worrying about work to read this now” … I saw it, read it, and feel free of that worry. Ariel and Shya, you are such amazing people. Thank you!
Wow! Thanks for calling us “amazing”. By the way, have you ever heard of the saying: IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE!” 🙂
Wow! I’m so happy to start my morning with this beautiful article. My heart feels like tons of worry and heavy thoughts are lifted. And life is so beautiful and precious around me, and I’m in the midst of all this beauty and preciousness. And the things I had been worrying about are not vanished, they are just “things” with no “worry attachment” anymore.Thank you!
You are very, very welcome!
This article has been the strawberry of my moment. Just having finished one task at work I was starting to think about what comes next and if I like it or not and what else I could do instead that I’d prefer to do… Looking at my desk right now it’s obvious how to go on – so lovely. Thanks for this reminder and great inspiration.
You are very welcome Kim. Yes! When you are in the moment what needs to be done becomes very obvious. Wishing you a lovely day!
I enjoyed this article! Such a refreshing breeze first thing in the morning!
Got me right on track for the day!! I also enjoy the monthly article on the author,Ariel and Shya’s website- Fun is Not a Four Letter Word. check it out! transformationmadeeasy dot com
Thanks for suggesting that people read our article of the month “Fun is not a Four Letter Word. The address came through a little funny though. Here it is again: http://www.transformationmadeeasy.com/en/articles/article.shtml
What a beautiful article. Really puts things in perspective. I feel more in touch with how precious life, and each moment, is. Thanks Ariel & Shya (and InspireMeToday)!!
Thank you Valerie! We appreciate your comment. 🙂
“as you handle the minutia of your life, the answers to how to handle the “big” things magically appear.” is what I needed to read today 🙂 Thank you so much Airel&Shya Kanes! You made my day and almost my work 🙂
So sweet to hear. And your writing it again here as a quote brought it alive for us again, too! Pretty cool!
What a wonderful article! I love your practical wisdom, Ariel and Shya. Thank you for enlighting my day, my moment.
You are very welcome Karin!
What a great read! This article came at the perfect time. I am at work preparing for a long vacation, and was worrying about completing some projects on time. After reading this, I saw my worries dissolve and was able to tackle the tasks at hand. Thank you!!!
Perfect! No two things can occupy the same “Candace” at the same time – you can either worry about completing your projects or actually do them! By the way, if you are “tackling” the tasks you are still going about it with some resistance and extra conversation about the project’s scope. 🙂
That’s so sweet!
I tought a pilates class today and I felt like not being in the mood for that today. I realized that every time I have to teach I get these thoughts … with that it disappeared and I really enjoyed the hour with my students 🙂 we had so much fun and I feel so awake now! It is really about engaging. Easy 😉 thanks
HI Christin – it is interesting that you say, “… every time I have to teach…” Saying that you HAVE TO teach is reflective of how you approach work in general and your are likely to often have a challenge going to work.
We often think “I GET to go to work today!” It is not that we are trying to do positive self talk but that we truly love what we do and the people we work with. Your attitudes about work are a series of tapes learned while you were young. If you see them and don’t make yourself wrong – or treat those attitudes personally – then you are free and they will dissolve without your working on yourself or your “negative” attitudes. 🙂
Thanks for this brilliant article! I read it this morning before I stood up and since then it´s as having a new pair of eyes :-). I see my surrounding and the people in it so clearly and what I see is just very sweet! Big hug from Germany! xxxx
Thank you Katrin for reading and commenting – a big hug in return!
What a wonderful and brilliant article! I love the part about handling the minutia of your life and having the answers to the “big things” magically appear. Now I’m excited to jump into my next project at work!
Excellent news Joe! Feel free to come back and let us know how your next projects worked with this new awareness. Thanks for commenting!