This month, I am on the quest to be extra present every week, every day, and every moment. As you might imagine (and might have experienced), it's easier said than done. This past week, I was curious why I tended to linger longer on social media, email inbox, websites, and pretty much everything my phone offers as an app. These are areas in my life where I am definitely hoping to keep it contained, be mindful, and enjoy using it as a way to expand my life's communication and a tool to collect information as needed, not as my never-ending downtime entertainment.
Then the Japanese tradition of transitioning from the old to the new year came to my mind. I have a fond memory of helping my family deep clean the house, creating orders, and preparing for the new year during the 2nd half of December. New Year was not about a party to celebrate but more of a quiet moment of closure and celebrating the birth of what might be next. It was full of rituals, symbols, and meanings.
The sacredness of honoring the moment when something begins and ends is contrary to what we are so used to in today's culture. Our digital device can keep us "on" all the time as an autopilot mode. It can be convenient to be able to work wherever we are and whenever we are or connect with friends/families at a click of a button. But is that really healthy for my emotional wellbeing? Does it align with my value to experience life instead of being an observer to other people's lives?
So as often as I can, I am incorporating mini closures to different tasks I immerse myself throughout the day. When it is time for me to wrap up my morning work to head out to the run, I close my laptop, say a little thank you, then move on. I do the same when I am done updating and responding to my Instagram feed, when I finish driving to the next activity (transitioning from being a hands-on mom volunteer in Coco's class to BK studio to function as team's support is the hardest that it is almost always comical - and team knows it too!), as well as when I close the day with a gratitude journal. It gives me much needed momentum to turn things "off" and deep breath whether it is a device, a car, or my journal pages. And as a result, I feel more present moving on to the next thing.
I know we all have a full life, wearing many different hats. If you are craving a graceful transition from one activity to another, why not create a sacred ritual that works for you?
I am looking forward to closing the year 2019 just the way I close each task on hand. I hope you are too.