For some people, the future is a constant thought. Planning trips, work hours and what not spur them to take actions in the present. In this mindset, their goal is to grind towards fulfilling the plan and if it succeeds, they make another one. This is how they work on their dreams.
However, this life strategy may not be fit for others. I know it did not suit mine.
I am Chelly, an undergraduate education researcher and photographer, who battles five chronic illnesses namely bipolar type II disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, fibromyalgia, and hypersensitivity type I. On the day all of these conditions decide to strike my body the most, rest assured that a foot will be at the death’s door. But I don’t spend time thinking of that inevitable day more than giving this introduction spiel to people I talk to. I’m practicing a strategy that makes me watch the little wonders and celebrate the small victories longer: mindful living.
Mindfulness, I realized, entails slowing down and seeing reality for what it is and what it evolves into. It is opening myself up to the surprises that the moment may bring and choosing to respond to them as they happen. It is letting go of the preconceived notions of what the now is supposed to be and deciding to make the best out of what I have. It is recognizing that emotions and thoughts are ever flowing and thus, aren’t permanent.
It doesn’t mean I live irresponsibly. This just means I’m focusing on identifying where I am in the present and appreciating everything that I’ve been through – the pain, the beautiful, the ugly, and the bliss. It means living in my own way and freeing myself from society’s norms. It means consciously giving effort to learn and to grow. It means endless gratitude for every second more I get to spend here on earth.
This is how I work on brewing my best self, be it at the hospital or at the comforts of my home.