I'm not sure who originally penned this quote, but I keep reciting it to myself on repeat lately. As a mother and entrepreneur, I have tons of plans and dreams and ideas that I want to make happen for my family and my business; but they won’t be realized until I’m able to put in the work and (hopefully) patiently wait for the right time to arrive. As they say, “Good things take time.” “Live in the moment” “Be present” “Rome wasn’t built in a day”…and still, I struggle with this SO much. I find myself daydreaming about what life will look like when I can properly execute my plans; how much better things will be THEN—at this future destination that’s calling to my heart and seems to hold so much promise and joy. But, what I’ve noticed is the frustration that comes when I allow my heart to live too far ahead of my current reality. I can become so future focused that I miss what’s happening around me. The joy gets sucked into a vacuum and I suddenly find myself on autopilot just going through the motions of life: alarm clocks and packing lunches, laundry and emails, dropping kids off at school, meetings, wiping up the bathroom sink, stamping encouragement cards, designing new @shareloveeverywhere products, cooking dinner, playing Barbies and Star Wars with my sweet kiddos, saying bedtime prayers...all of it can become just a motion with no emotion when I’m not actively checking my heart to see where in time I’m living.
I know so many of us in this community have exciting side hustles and have similar struggles when it comes to finding that balance in planning for the future and being present where I’m at. It’s imperative to keep dreaming and keep planning, but once that feeling of frustration in things not moving quickly enough pops in, that’s the signal to kindly reel your heart back to now.
Today I’m sharing a few ways to get out of that sneaky future focused rut:
1. RESET YOUR DAY WITH A FEW DEEP BREATHS.
Take 6 deep, long breaths. Notice your inhale. Just two minutes of focused breathing can help you recenter your heart in the moment and your frustration will begin dissipate.
2. FIND THE GOOD IN TODAY.
Look around your life and pick 3 things that are worth celebrating TODAY (YES…even that extra long bonus french fry in the bottom of your drive thru lunch counts!)
3. WRITE YOUR FUTURE SELF A LETTER.
Something I do from time to time is write my future self a letter of encouragement. I tell myself that the progress I’ve made thus far is worth celebrating and write out all my hopes for what life will look like in the future. I speak uplifting words of love and kindness to myself. I fold the page and seal the envelope. Then I mark a date 6 months away on which the envelope can be opened and I can read the words I’ve written.
Putting these thoughts and hopes on paper helps me get them out of my mind and gives them a positive space to live until that future I plan for and dream of is my reality. It feels kind of silly at first, writing a letter to yourself, but it actually is helpful and really cool to open up the envelope and read what you’ve forgotten you wrote many months before.
4. FILL YOUR SPACE WITH VISUAL REMINDERS.
Keep visual representation of the things you’re working toward and help you remain present for THIS moment in the spaces where you live and work. Certain items or even simple sticky notes act as reminders around my home and office; and ALL of the designs I’ve created for our Love Everywhere shop were brought to life for this purpose. I needed to hear that I was “Fine & Good,” I wanted the constant encouragement that “YES YOU CAN” achieve my goals and survive whatever today throws my way. I wanted a physical reminder that “Kindness is Key” and that I need to extend love to myself and others as often as the opportunity presents itself with our “Love Harder” phrase. Make your own mantras and write them on sticky notes or get one of ours for yourself here.
Have you tried one of these tools listed above? Do you have other effective ways of bringing yourself back to the present moment? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Ashley Reale is the Founder and Chief Heart Officer of Love Everywhere. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two children, where she spends most of her time joyfully refilling juice cups and swimming in goldfish crackers. You can connect with Ashley on her Instagram.