We all have what some people call “The Defining Moment”. The Turning Point. The Ah-ah realization. It can be the birth of a child (or a grand-child for me). Holding that amazing little creature and just trying to catch your breath at the true wonder of human life and the vulnerability of that spirit in that tiny body.
It is sometimes a wedding day and sometimes it’s the day the divorce papers arrive in the mail. It’s graduation – from high school, from college, from grad school. It’s moving into a new apartment or new home. It’s saying yes to a marriage proposal. It’s having your boss tell you ‘we are so sorry, but it’s the budget, we are downsizing and it looks like your position is being elimated.’
Paying attention to the amazing moments in life – whether they are exhilarating or devastating – is what makes the difference between the people who take advantage of those moments and eventually soar and grow to new depths – and those who simply allow the moment to happen and never quite realize how truly significant it was.
Let me encourage you to find ways to PAY ATTENTION to the amazing moments in your own life. If you are facing an ending in your life, allow yourself to embrace the grieving and loss. That might mean a reflective afternoon at the cemetary or in a quiet church by yourself, alone, thinking and praying about the loss. It might mean finding a quiet spot to write in your journal or walking a beach alone.
If you are about to embark on a new beginning, then it’s just as important (maybe more so) to PAY ATTENTION, to be present, to be mind-ful of what is hapening in your life. Determine what new habits or rituals you want to embrace, and what you don’t want to bring into your new beginning. Take advantage of the fresh new beginning to be a new, more authentic ‘you’.
Interestingly, ‘amazing moments’ (defining moments) most often happen between our endings in life (and we all have them) and our new beginnings. Bridges, in his powerful book, “Transitions”, calls this season our ‘neutral zone’ or inbetween times. He believes that in the inbetween time we can have the most powerful realizations of who we are, of what we value, and what we truly need to be authentic, self-actualized men and women.
I encourage you as we embrace this summer (after a very long, economically challenging winter and spring), to consider the ‘amazing moments’ you have had this past year and to begin to notice those powerful moments you are about to experience.
A great little book that I HIGHLY recommend is entitled “This Year I Will ….” (by M.J. Ryan). I read it again recently and it was transforming. It kept me aware, motivated and focused on the defining moments in my own life.