Recently I spent some time with my five year old granddaughter on the beach doing one of her favorite activities, collecting seashells.
She loves to explore areas of the beach to find the best places to collect shells. Not the big shells, but the very tiny shells. Ones that basically take a microscope to see. She particularly likes the cone shaped shells. Honestly, I never realized there were so many.
She knows just where to find them. On the beach that we enjoy most, they are located in the soft dry sand, away from the ocean.
I was amazed at the lessons I learned from doing this activity with her.
1 - Live in the moment. She did not download an app to teach her how to do this. It is something that comes very naturally for her and I would imagine many children.
It doesn’t mean forget plans and goals and wander randomly through life. It’s about being fully present in what you are doing and engaging as many senses as possible. In this state, you learn to stay focused on the current activity and give it your full attention.
So if you have goals to write or paint or exercise, certainly plan for these things. Then while doing it, enjoy the activity by being fully present, not thinking about the things you need to accomplish.
2 - Express gratitude. With every shell that she picked up, she would squeal in delight that she found yet another one.
There are so many things for which we are thankful. Sometimes when we are experiencing a difficult time, we develop all or nothing thinking and forget this.
Take a moment at the end of each day and state three things for which you are thankful. These do not have to be monumental things. For example, an easy ride home from work, your significant other did a task that you normally do or the people in your life.
3 - Act intentionally. She was not in a hurry. She was enjoying the process of finding shells. She used her fingers to gently sift through the soft sand, while scanning for these tiny shells that bring her such joy.
It was amazing to watch how she genuinely took delight in each one she found.
She also believes in the abundance theory as she never once doubted that she would find shells.
4 - Focus on the present not the future or past. Her focus was on sifting through the sand to find shells. Period.
Anxiety is created when we spend time thinking about past negative events or imagining future unpleasant scenarios. Staying in the present moment helps to relieve this.
5 - Suspend judgement. Just about every shell she picked up, she found beauty in it. She may have pointed out that it was broken, but that didn’t mean it was not worthy of saving it in her collection. She would ask to see the ones that I picked up and would comment on their beauty.
Sometimes is takes help to heal the past emotional issues that get in the way of living in the present. Call me for a free consultation so that you can start living the life you want.