Tag Archive 'present moment only moment'

Oct 23 2012

How to Expand Time: 5 Ways to Enter the Spacious NOW – #97

Since my cancer adventure began, I’ve been motivated to live fully while I’m alive, savoring each moment, relishing this precious life. As a result of that, something wonderful has happened: the quality of time has changed for me…time has miraculously expanded! I told a friend about this recently and she, being a busy person who’s always crunched for time, was genuinely intrigued, “How do you do that? How do you expand time?” I started thinking about it: exactly how DO I do that? Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Notice:

The first and most important thing I do is become aware that I’m NOT present. I notice what’s happening in my mind and body: I’m in my head, in the future or past, I’m tense, shallow breathing, not feeling my feet on the ground, and generally having an ‘out of body’ experience. Just the act of noticing brings about more spaciousness.

2. Get over yourself:

I become aware of my posture: When I’m not present, I’m usually either hurtling forward, ungrounded, ahead of myself, or turtling inward, head scrunched down and shoulders raised. I then shift by straightening myself up and reminding myself, “Get over yourself, feel your feet on the ground, and feel yourself solidly over your feet.” Several years ago I was shuffling along, busy in my head about some future event, not aware of my feet on the ground, and I tripped on a crack in the sidewalk. Down I went, HARD, crashing my cheek onto a car bumper on the way down – I was literally grounded! From then on, whenever I walk I become aware of feeling my feet firmly on the ground, with my body over my feet, and, as Thich Nat Khan says, “My feet kiss the ground with every step.”

3. Breathe:

Shallow breaths sustain a shallow life; deep full breaths sustain a deep full life. When I notice my breath is shallow, I take deep, slow, soft breaths, breathing in up through my feet and breathing out down through the top of my head; breathing life and being breathed by life. That instantly delivers me to the spacious present. “He lives most life whoever breathes most air.” –Elizabeth Barrett Browning

4. Affirmations:

In Aldous Huxley’s novel, Island, the myna birds say over and over again, “Here and now boys, here and now.” When I find myself rushing, futuring or past-ing, I say, “Present moment, only moment.” I also say, “No hurry, no worry.” Mindfulness teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn suggests that we say the words “This is it” throughout the day, reminding ourselves that right now is IT!

5. See and Savor:

I look and see where I am and who I’m with, softening my gaze, drinking it all in with present-moment baby eyes. I marvel at my surroundings, “Look at how blue the sky is today”, or “There are so many shades of green in that tree.” I appreciate where I am, relishing what’s present, counting my blessings, thankful for this moment, grateful for this life. I was enjoying a delicious lunch at a Thai restaurant with Tom recently, and suddenly looked up from my food, and feasted my eyes on him, really seeing and appreciating the beautiful soul that he is, and feeling deep gratitude that he is in my life. Tom Yum!

When I’m scurrying about on the hamster wheel of life, time seems infernal; but when I stop spinning and fully embody this moment, time becomes eternal. Or, as I once wrote: When I immerse myself in the present moment and savor it like delicious candy, time stretches like taffy into a sweet eternal Nooow!

How about you? Are you feeling starved for time? Or are you at a banquet, fully tasting, savoring, and relishing each moment, having the time of your life?

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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Jun 05 2010

Counting Blessings – Issue #53

A good friend of mine recently returned home from a weekend trip with her husband and found that someone had broken into their house and stolen several pieces of expensive jewelry, including her wedding rings. At first she cried, but very quickly she shifted into acceptance and told me that I was the reason why. She said she thought about me and reasoned that she didn’t have cancer, and no one died — that put things into perspective for her. She learned the lesson from the experience and was able to let it go.

That is a great illustration that how we choose to think about things affects our sense of wellbeing. It inspired me to focus on what I’m grateful for on this cancer journey, and I’d like to share some of it with you in this update.

About two weeks ago I had a CT scan which showed that my tumor is responding to treatment. After four weeks, the 2” x 3” tumor shrunk to one fourth its original size. It’s gone from an egg to a grape. That is good news!

I am also grateful that for the last 2 weeks I haven’t had chemo because my blood counts have been low. I needed a break from the relentless nausea and I got it. I’m using this reprieve to eat better, exercise more, and fortify my body.

This treatment could have been far worse. I haven’t lost any hair! I haven’t had to take narcotics as they’d said I might — Ibuprofen is handling the pain and discomfort.

I’m grateful that I’m in the homestretch — there is just three more days of radiation treatment (and possibly one more chemo session, depending on my blood count). During these weeks of treatment, time has crawled like a snail. Now there is an end in sight. Yay!

Occasionally the fear comes up for me, what if this doesn’t work? The doctor said that if the tumor doesn’t completely disappear, it will grow back. When this fear appears, I’ve been doing the only thing I have control over — I’ve been training myself to come into the present. Throughout the day I say to myself, “Present moment, only moment.” It is a blessing to be strengthening my ability to be fully present in the moment. It’s a goal of mine in this lifetime, and feels like a huge accomplishment.

I am grateful for Tom who is taking such good care of me, and also himself and not letting himself become burned out. I am grateful for friends and family and the people who have been on this journey with me, giving me so much love and support. Thank you!

I feel blessed that my cancer experience is of service to some people, like my friend who put her loss into perspective and was able to let it go. People have told me that it has reminded them that life is precious and has inspired them to get more focused on what it is they’re here to do, and what it is they really want. I feel honored and grateful to be of service in this way.

I am counting my many blessings. I am Here and Now. I am happy to be alive. There’s always someone who has it worse off than us. My heart fills with compassion for them, and gratitude that I’m not them! It’s all relative.

How about you? Counted your blessings lately? They really are plentiful when we look for them.

In Love,
Jan Jacobsen

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