It’s easy for us to look back on a time of that was good and when it comes to an end focus on the loss. While grief is healthy to experience, there is also a time and place to widen our perspective. I’m reminded of a Dr. Seuss quote that one of the members of The Now Effect Community recently brought up,
“Don’t be sad it’s over, be glad it happened.”
We can take this to the present moment as well. There’s a chapter in The Now Effect called “Present Nostalgia,” a term I coined to represent how we can use the concept of nostalgia to appreciate the present moment more often and be “glad it’s happening.”
The practice is to project yourself into the future to a time when your current mode of life has passed. If you’re single, it’s when you’re in a relationship, if you’re in a relationship, maybe it’s if or when you have kids, maybe it’s 10 years from now and your body is a bit older or you can even go as far as the moment you’re lying on your deathbed.
From that place, look back onto this moment right now and have that future person tell you what you’re missing. What is it about this moment that is precious and impermanent? What will no longer be in the future that you have and can appreciate right now?
Maybe it’s a sense of freedom of being single or in not having kids. Maybe it’s that your kids are young and will soon be older and want more independence. Maybe you have youth, an able body that can move around with ease, good hearing, or even strong teeth. Maybe it’s just a season and you’re missing the changing colors of the trees or the beauty of the snow that eventually will pass.
Whatever it is, there are often things we take for granted only later to be sad they’re gone haven’t had appreciated them in the present moment.
What do you have to be grateful for today that you aren’t seeing right now? If something comes up for you, post it on the gratitude wall in The Now Effect Community.
Practice present nostalgia more often and step into the good of life a bit more often.
As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.
Red hat photo available from Shutterstock
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Last reviewed: 27 Dec 2012