Disclaimer: To my mum who will be reading this, I promise that this blog includes genuine sentiment and is not a brand new bribing tactic as I’m sure you’re currently suspecting.
Throughout my life I’ve often heard the saying ‘hindsight’s a beautiful thing’ and there’s no denying that it certainly is. However, since my father passed away, I’ve had to face the harsh reality that our time on this earth is limited. It’s been a long journey but ironically, I’ve used hindsight to harness something even more beautiful on a day-to-day basis, something so precious that I refuse to compromise it under any circumstance – the present moment. Here at the Happynesshub we talk lots about staying present and I wanted to write a blog about someone special in my life who inspires me to do this – my mum.
After losing my dad, I often found myself stuck in the past, longing for days that had already been, and ignoring the beauty of the here and now. While this is somewhat normal behaviour to experience while you’re grieving, six years on, it was becoming clear that I’d slipped into a negative pattern of reminiscing about the past. I had reached a point whereby I was ignoring the presence of the people who love me most. Following some much needed talking therapy and intense personal development, over the last few months I finally feel as though I might be making progress and fulfilling my goal to live in the moment. More than ever, I’m working hard to appreciate those small and modest moments throughout the day with the important individuals I hold close, especially my mum. Whether we are planting pots in the garden, learning to jive in the hallway or having our occasional ‘evening tipple’ on the sofa while watching trash TV, nowadays, it only takes these small moments together for my heart to feel full and content.
Considering my own personal experiences, I wasn’t thus surprised to discover in an on-going study by psychologists at Harvard University, research suggests that participants who continually reminisce and ruminate are typically the least happy. Furthermore, in his book ‘Healing the Heart and Mind with Mindfulness: Ancient Path, Present Moment’, Malcolm Huxter explains that when we start to value those fleeting moments with our loved ones throughout the day, relationships are strengthened. What I hadn’t realised is that this process alone is mindfulness in action. Huxter states that by feeding off the inspiring and uplifting people in our lives, we can become capable of cherishing and finding meaning in even the most mundane of activities… even taking out the bin!
Although taking out the bin doesn’t fill me with joy just yet, I’m so glad to finally have a new lease of life where my mum and I are closer than ever. Personally, I’ve truly benefitted from Huxter’s suggestion to use specific moments as “‘touchstones’ or reminders to be mindful”. If watching trash TV with your mum doesn’t do it for you, that’s okay. There are plenty of small moments that occur throughout the day where you can find happiness – it’s just a matter of opening your mind and heart to find them.