I know that this can be scary. It’s hard to let go of the cocoon of our head (as in, we live in our head, or we need to get out of our head). But there’s a whole new wonderful world out there waiting for us to enjoy. The catch is that we must lay down everything else we have tied ourselves up with—because there’s nothing else after this. We work as though there’s something else to achieve, somewhere else to go, and if we just work harder and faster then we’ll get there sooner and with greater reward. (Hard work is part of growing up, and it’s good to get used to throwing ourselves into endeavors that thrill us as well as stretch us.)
But for all the hard work our lives require of us, we have already achieved what we have been working so hard to have! If we don’t slow down and take it all in, we will have missed a highly precious opportunity. The point of work is not to make more work but to attain a valuable kind of balance that affords us the luxury of living a good life. If we aren’t being fully present, then we aren’t fully living the good life we have been working towards. (And even if we never get to that place in our life where we picture ourselves being our happiest, part of the secret to free living is learning how to be at rest and have peace all the time, regardless of whether or not we are physically working or physically resting.)
Rest, relaxation, and enjoyment are all very much emotional, mental, and spiritual states that transcend the day-in and day-out of our physical lives. Learning to be fully present instead of preoccupied helps us to remember that now is the time to take it all in, not somewhere in the future where we think we are voyaging to. Being a parent is one of the greatest gifts in life because it reveals to us the importance of being present in the present—which is the best present we can give to our children!