Welcome the present moment as an invited guest

Welcome the present moment as an invited guest.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Felicia Buitenwerf

What is your typical mood and attitude in the following situations? These are examples of positive and negative “creative tension.”

  • Friday afternoons, heading into the weekend
  • Sunday nights, before a busy week at work
  • Packing for an upcoming vacation
  • Heading to your doctor for medical testing
  • Getting a clean bill of health after a physical
  • Doing your taxes
  • Learning you’re getting a sizable refund on your taxes

When we have seemingly positive events in our future we’re up, and when impending negative situations loom, we’re down.

What about all of those in-between moments that seem rather bland or neutral?


How can you improve your mood and shift your attitude by welcoming more of the moments of your life?

A friend of mine uses the phrase It’s All Good to express his daily appreciation of simply being alive.

“Generosity is not a loan to repay or a debt to settle. It’s a gift to appreciate.”

“Generosity is not a loan to repay or a debt to settle. It’s a gift to appreciate.”

Adam Grant, American organizational psychologist and bestselling author

Image from Unsplash by Giullia Bertelli

Adam Grant’s book, Give and Take, is one of my favorites. If you have yet to read it, today’s quote could be one of the top nuggets to summarize its wisdom.

Through his extensive research of givers, takers, and matchers, it’s the givers of the world who seem to lead the most richly rewarding lives.

Perhaps the best way to show our appreciation of the generosity of others is simply to acknowledge it.


I hope you will take Adam’s advice and give the generous people in your life your sincere appreciation for their many gifts.

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving a new one.”

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving a new one.”

Dolly Parton, American singer-songwriter and actress

Image from Unsplash by Greg Shield

Take two minutes to complain to yourself about your life.

If you are like most people, this short time interval may only get the ball rolling.

Now that you vocalized these items, capture them on paper or a device of your choice to work on in the coming days.

Unlike the unattended potholed roads we often travel during winter, you get to be your own paving crew to smooth out the roads of life that lead to a better future.


What areas of your life need some resurfacing?

Who are the people, and what resources will be necessary, to create an autobahn of life to get you where you want to go?

Abundance is not something we acquire, it’s something we tune into.

“Abundance is not something we acquire, it’s something we tune into.”

Wayne Dyer, late self-help author and motivational speaker

Image from Unsplash by Braden Callum

When is enough enough? How much money, possessions, status, and achievement lets you know you’ve made it?

Western society keeps fanning the flames of a “more is better” world. Many of us seem to be trapped in a vicious cycle of gluttony where our appetites are never satisfied — often to our own detriment.

Where do you find yourself running this race? To what degree do you find yourself on a treadmill getting sweaty but not getting anywhere truly satisfying?


What are the absolute essential elements of a good and meaningful life?

How tuned into and appreciative are you of the things you already have?

Try quietly sitting in this space to explore the peaceful abundant feeling it can offer.

To live only for some future goal is shallow

“To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustains life, not the top.”

Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Image from Unsplash by Charlie Hammond

I’ve never climbed a mountain but I’ve learned through watching plenty of nature programs that very little lives at extreme heights.

For the tallest of the world’s mountains, climbers enter the “death zone” when they are over 8,000 meters above sea level. At this height, oxygen is about one third the concentration it is on the ground below.

When one examines more modestly sized mountains, we can readily see the tree line only goes so far before things shift to the cold frosty stuff.


How often do you take the time to fully explore and appreciate all the steps on your journey to the top? Where might stops along the way and even deciding not to climb all the way be the wisest approach to take?

Peak experiences are fun, but you always have to come back

“Peak experiences are fun, but you always have to come back. Learning to appreciate the ordinary moments is the key to a fulfilling life.”

Cory Muscara, former monk, mindfulness advisor, and University of Pennsylvania instructor

Image from Unsplash by DocuSign

A coaching colleague of mine is a world traveler, currently on their fourth six-month cruise around the world with their spouse.

Their adventures are captured in a daily blog recounting the people, places, and things they experience with beautiful photos and very detailed reflections.

Over the years, I too have had a good number of adventures that were measured in weeks. Although I remember them fondly, I tend to get homesick for the life I’ve created within my current communities.

A recent highlight was spending a full day alone with my 19-month-old granddaughter, to our mutual delight.


What peak experiences do your recall with great fondness?

How many have you had?

What are some of the many precious ordinary moments you experience daily that don’t require leaving home at all?

To be happy you must let go of what’s gone

“To be happy you must let go of what’s gone, be grateful for what remains, and look forward to what is coming.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Towfiqu barbhuiya

How would you rate yourself on a one-to-ten scale of happiness?

How has this number varied over the last several years due to personal, professional, and global events?

Consider how today’s quote offers significant wisdom to level up your score with small mindfulness adjustments.


How can you more completely let go of what’s gone?

How can you more fully appreciate what you have?

What are the small and big things that you look forward to in the future?

“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.”

“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.”

—William Blake, 19th Century English poet

Image from Unsplash by Kim Turk

How thankful have your felt lately? What are the things you appreciate the most? Try rattling off a list or 10 or even 20 items that come to mind.

Did you have clean water and clean air on your list? How about nutritious food in adequate amounts?  What about having shelter and people who care about you?

Dig a little deeper into your list-making effort to determine your essentials. Notice your level of gratitude for the things many people don’t have or live in fear of going without.

It is puzzling to note many of us focus on what’s missing and our wants for more instead of being truly thankful for what we already have in great abundance.


Where and how can you be a far more thankful receiver?

Where and with whom could you be a more generous giver to support others in having a more plentiful harvest?

For those who expect everything, there are many curses

“For those who expect everything, there are many curses. For those who appreciate everything, there are many blessings.”

James Clear, Writer, Entrepreneur and Behavior Science Expert

Image from Unsplash by Yasin Yusuf

As we get older and hopefully wiser, many people come to learn that the myth of “having it all” is a lie. At some or many points in their lives, they learn that life forces us to choose and make many difficult tradeoffs.

If I say Yes to this it often means saying No to that. If I grasp this, I will likely need to let go of something else.


What have you discovered over the years regarding expecting everything versus appreciating everything? In what ways have your blessings outnumbered your curses with this added wisdom?

Take pleasure in what’s already here

Take pleasure in what’s already here.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Lala Azizli

For many people, pleasure seeking is almost a full-time job. They seem always on the hunt for the next great experience to place a check mark on their bucket list. Life, however (for most of us) is what happens between those peak experiences, and can seem routine and boring.

Years ago, there was an TV ad campaign for Van Camp’s pork and beans with the catchy jingle, “Simple pleasures are the best.” Although pork and beans may not be your thing, we can all recognize that simple pleasures are also the most abundant if we heighten our awareness and appreciation of them.


Turn on your pleasure-seeking radar to see what’s already here. Keep a log or list to capture the things you easily recognize and perhaps a good number of those you often overlook. Consider placing all of your senses on high alert to expand your list even further.