While living in Lima, Peru, not so very long ago, I was given an exciting birthday gift. After taking me out to lunch downtown (and instructing me to eat light), three lovely women, each old enough to be my mother, walked me across the street to an outfit that specialized in paragliding. My friends promptly paid for me before sitting down on a bench to cheer me on. It was a total surprise and naturally I was a bit nervous as I had never done anything like this before, but in front of these friends (there was something about their wiser ages that spurred me on) I did something I rarely do. Instead of analyzing the situation, I took a deep breath and simply went for it. Mere minutes later, as my instructor and I were soaring high above cliffs, ocean and skyscrapers, I found myself truly living in the moment. Every sense was awakened. I felt the rush of the wind on my face, saw my reflection in the highest shiny window of a tower, heard seagulls and crashing waves, smelled the salty sea air, and tasted twenty minutes of pure exhilaration. Yes, thrill has a distinct taste.
There is a favorite local restaurant here in Cache Valley called, Juniper. Like many other restaurants today, they have big screens set up to captivate diners while they eat. At Juniper you don’t watch sports such as basketball, football, soccer and golf. No, at Juniper you watch video clips of extreme sports. The last time my husband and I ate there, we watched footage of men and women shooting off a massive ocean cliff from a slip-and-slide! And you know what? Not a single one of those insane thrill seekers had a frown on their face as they plummeted to the water below. They were screaming to be sure, but there wasn’t time to do anything but live in their action-filled moment, and it always ended in big smiles, laughter and high-fives (because they all survived).
Today I realized that I want to live more in the moment. The best part of living in the moment is that I don’t need to leave the ground to do it. I just want to remember how amazing it felt to be paragliding because in that space of time I wasn’t over-thinking my trials or stressing over all that is wrong in this world which I have no control over. I was replacing the negative I often zoom in on, with a whole lot of positive, and I think the key for me is getting out of my own head and really appreciating all the beautiful things around me. Because life really is beautiful. Sometimes I need to ignore my messy kitchen and piled up laundry, put my cell phone down, go outside and take a meandering walk as I breathe deeply (unless the cows are out). Sometimes I even need to put down my camera and enjoy the world through my natural lens. (Okay I wear contacts, but without them the world would be a messy blur and I’d wave at street lamps.)
What helps you to live in the moment? Have you ever gone paragliding or skydiving or something that pumped up your adrenaline?