We all take a lot for granted. We live in yesterday or tomorrow. It’s hard to be present, in this moment…we’re pretty OK. If we let ourselves, we could worry all day long. Mostly over things that will never even happen. And if they did happen, it wouldn’t be the catastrophe our mind-gone-wild tells us. How is it possible to enjoy life with so much worry?
This week I visited a Butterfly Conservatory in Massachusetts called Magic Wings.
Given my bug phobia you’d think that’d be the last place I’d want to go! Especially when they land on you! But I boss it back now!
It was very relaxing and I found myself taking deep breaths. I was in the moment. There are no predators in the conservatory. These butterflies seemed so happy. Over 3,000 butterflies zooming all around, stopping for bananas or nectar. I felt so happy for them and pondered the miracle of their creation and mysterious life cycle.
There was a sad moment though. I teared up when I learned about the Atlas Moth. She has no mouth and therefore can only live about 7 days. And much of that time is spent sleeping, waiting for her mate to find her.
Statistically, if we live 75 years, at 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night, we will have slept about 25 of those 75 years. The Atlas Moth sleeps about 6 of her 7 days of life!
My friends and I wondered, with no way to thrive why has this species been created? What is the purpose of the Atlas Moth’s existence?
We came to an agreement that she’s here to give us an important message. One of us thought of Tim McGraw’s song, “Live Like You Were Dying.” But since this moth sleeps all the time, it seemed like her message had to be something else. But, one could argue the point, “Exactly, don’t sleep your life away. This isn’t a dress rehearsal.”
I’ve since learned that these moths are cultivated in India for the durable silk it secretes which is used to make purses. But, it doesn’t answer the question of, “Why can’t it have a mouth? Why was it created to only live 7 days?” I can’t come up with any better answer than its message to live life to its fullest because we don’t get a dress rehearsal.
How can we do that? We get bogged down with responsibilities. Exhaustion is a constant battle. There’s so much to worry about. How can we live life to its fullest? How can we enjoy life but not obsess about doing it!
For the answers, I visited other people’s blogs. Here are some excerpts from those blogs:
“We only get so much time, and to make the most of our lives we need to fully utilize this limited amount of time to make this life amazing. To ensure that we’re making the most of our time, it’s important to be conscious of how we are using it, what we are using it for, and if we’re using it wisely to make us happy. Are you really making the most out of your time? Are you enjoying the things you do in your current routine? Are you being productive? Plan in advance and create a checklist of everything you’d like to achieve and then tick off each achievement as you go along.”
Happiness Doesn’t Just Happen
“Everyone has the right to happiness although unfortunately it seems to be innately programmed into us that we feel guilty when we get it. Another human trait that goes hand-in-hand with this, however, is that we tend to sit around waiting for happiness to descend on us one day when, in reality, this doesn’t happen. We need to stop feeling guilty about happiness and stop expecting that happiness is just going to happen to us like magic. Instead, it’s time to start putting in the effort today. Outline your goals and decide what you want to do; think way beyond your comfort zone. To make your life amazing, you need to be proactive, so go out there today and start achieving your dreams.”
“When living in the moment, full of gratitude for it, there is no question about what happened, what might happen or what could have been. Living in the moment means to accept the past as what it is: a bygone and not changeable experience that will only have an influence on your present life if you allow it to.”
“Fear is a major aspect that keeps people from living their life to the fullest. No matter if it’s the fear of failure, or the fear to disappoint your beloved ones. In the end, you will have to ask yourself if you want to allow fear from preventing you of doing the things you would really like to do. Regret can be a lot more painful than fear itself.”
How to Stay in the Moment
“There’s a one-in-two chance your mind is on something else as you read this sentence. A study by Harvard psychologists in 2010 asked people to track their thoughts, feelings and activities at random intervals, and discovered that they spend 46.9% of their time doing one thing while thinking about another. They also found this daydreaming makes them more unhappy than if they were paying attention to the present moment, even when it’s unpleasant.”
3 Steps to Take:
• Pay attention to your breathing. Find a quiet space and concentrate on the flow of your breath, in and out. When your mind begins to wander, gently bring it back to noticing your breathing.
• Bring awareness to sensations of touch. Our bodies are always in the present moment. Consciously feeling your feet on the floor, your bottom on a chair, or your clothes against your skin can bring your mind back too.
• Watch your speed. Three times a day, for one minute, simply stop what you’re doing and notice what’s happening in your mind and body. Becoming more familiar with your mind’s habitual patterns can help you to work with them much more skillfully.
The Steps Can Be Small
“Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to make drastic changes in order to notice an improvement in the quality of your life. At the same time, you don’t need to wait a long time in order to see the measurable results that come from taking positive action. All you have to do is take small steps, and take them consistently, for a period of 100 days.”
“If I look at my dreams, desires, and hopes for the future as coming from a place of limited supply, it will constantly feed the notion that someone else’s success is a threat to mine. So what do we do? The very opposite of what feeds unhealthy comparison and competition.
We ask God to bless others. We look for ways to help others succeed. We come alongside our fellow dream chasers and assure them this world needs more of what they uniquely have to offer.”
Signs that Happiness Exists Even if You Don’t Feel It:
What if you can’t tell if you’re enjoying life? What if OCD makes you doubt or obsess about your happiness? Look for these signs and go with it:
“People praise you for your inner strength. The trick here is to listen to what others are saying and allow yourself to believe it too.
Even though you may still feel sad inside, you are not crying much anymore and you generally feel a little better. Embrace that you are doing better, even if it’s only little things that you can see at the moment.
You are getting more done. As you get back to your old self, you can take pride in your productivity and enjoy the process more than you have.
You have fewer negatives in your life.
Sometimes you can see a light at the end of the tunnel, but you’re still concerned it’s an oncoming train. Again, this is part of the normal emotional healing process. As time passes, the light gets bigger and you can see the world beyond.
Life has become a little more social.
Your physical body is responding better. You don’t have that unbalanced feeling in your stomach, your energy is better, and you are feeling stronger.
You are feeling that your life matters. Feeling that you matter to others is a very important part of many people’s lives. The only thing that’s required is your desire to be a good person.”
How Does Happiness Happen?
If you want to discover the science behind happiness there’s a free course you can take HERE. Hint: It’s not a feeling. It’s an action. This course starts September 6th so don’t procrastinate! Discover research-backed tools to happiness!
Pay attention to the experience you’re creating. Since this life isn’t a dress rehearsal, make the best of your time. Be conscious of how you spend it.
Don’t wait for happiness to happen. Look for it. Learn about it. Hunt it down through action not feeling.
Live in the present; not the past or future.
Everything you want is on the other side of fear.
Just put one foot in front of the other and take small steps.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, wish them an abundance of love and light.
Even if you feel like you’re not enjoying life, it might not be true! If you’ve got the doubting disease, feelings can’t be trusted. Look for signs of happiness.
Here are a couple of videos from the Butterfly Conservatory: (Turn down the volume for a more peaceful effect.)