No doubt you are familiar with the slogan for V8 vegetable juice, "Ah, I could have had a V8!" Well, I have had my own version of "could have had a V8" moments recently; moments when I wasn't living in the present moment; moments when I wasn't aware of what I really needed right then. I need V8 Moments to remind me that there is a choice.
An example. Recently, a friend had a serious physical incident, and when I learned about it, it shook me deeply, but only when I got out of my car with the keys still in the ignition and the car still running did I realize I had not allowed myself to be present to what I was feeling. Instead of stopping and taking a deep breath when I learned about her situation and acknowledging the fear and uncertainty I was feeling for my friend and for myself, as well, I do what I so often do--I did. I stuck with my plan for the day, did errands, moved through my list, all the while feeling turmoil about this situation, and in the process almost locked my keys in the car with the engine still on. "Ah, I could have had a V8."
What I could have done, should have done, would have done if I had been more mindful was GET QUIET. A focused moment of centered awareness, a moment of noticing the tightness in my neck and shoulders, a moment to breathe deeply, a moment to relax and release, a moment to stop and hold my friend in my heart would have stopped my mind from racing where distraction and fear and unawareness live.
The good news is that I caught myself before I locked the keys in the car, so I know I am learning. I am making progress, but I also know my tendency is to resist the present moment. I am more apt to focus on the past or the future and be lost to the present moment.
Lately, I have been meditating on a Bible verse, "NOW is the acceptable time. NOW is the day of salvation." 2 Corinthians 6:2. My first thought when I came across this verse recently is that what I have been hoping for (a good offer on our house) is coming, preferably today. Now. The acceptable time. The day of salvation. But as I sat with the verse, I stopped reading it as a piece of fortune-telling, but instead, as a reminder that no matter what, NOW is the time I have. Right now and it is good.
This weekend our daughter and two grand children are coming to spend some fun time with us and with their arrival is a magical opportunity to be in the present moment. At the same time it is our son's birthday and even though we are not physically with him, this is an opportunity to hold him present in my heart. Every moment, each moment is an opportunity to be present, and every moment is an opportunity to practice my own V8 slogan, "Experience contentment in the present."
What about you? What V8 moments have you had?
PS: My friend is recovering well and the outlook is bright.