Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Live in the Moment this Holiday

In my blackberry, I keep an on-going list of blog ideas. These inspirations might come from quotes, a deep conversation with someone I love, or a lesson that seems to keep reappearing in my life. Often ideas come to me in my dreams or those quiet thoughts right before bed so I have to wake myself up to write it down.
I'm not sure if it's because I am going through an extremely busy period with the transitions in my businesses, if my life's purpose is just becoming more clear or if the universe wants me to communicate my messages more than I have been on my websites, blog, and vlogs....
whatever it is, my blackberry notes department is overflowing right now.

So, although I am so busy that at times it feels my head might spin off -
I will take this as a lesson to get to work on today's blog.
(and truly, also a break. Writing this blog is one of my favourite pastimes, and releases)

One particular lesson that keeps popping up in the form of quotes, conversations and real life experiences is how importing living and being present in the current moment is.
Living in the moment. You hear it your whole life, but it is not until recently that I truly feel I'm understanding the importance.

When I first recorded down the idea for this blog, it was 2 weeks ago after I attended the Movember Gala. Myself and 10 other women sit on the 'Mo Sistas Canada' committee, which is a group of women who work hand-in-hand with Movember Canada to promote women getting involved in Changing the Face of Men's Health, even though we can't grow moustaches.

This group of women would likely have never met if it wasn't for this committee and dedicating our time to a great cause. It was such an honour to get know all of them and I love each individually for very different reasons. Our efforts and friendship were showcased in a popular TO blog just days before the gala. Read it here.
After this article came out, and we each took the time to reflect on how it was incredible to be part of a global campaign for men's health that had over 850,000 registrants and raised over $110 million worldwide. There were messages of pride, love and excitement going on between the 11 Mo Sistas from TO.

The Movember Gala fell a few days later and we had all purchased matching costumes as 1920's flapper girls. My core group of girlfriends outside of Movember were all busy on this particular Friday night. Tired from the month-of-Mo and never having attended before, I was unsure of what to expect. Especially without the safety blanket of my lifelong girlfriends.

The day had arrived and in a whirlwind of makeup, sparkles and feather boas I finally got to at the pre-party to meet the girls on the committee. I was all done up, with girls I adored and had nothing on the agenda except moustaches and celebrating with the beautiful flapper girls that filled the room.
Usually our meetings are documented, following an agenda and with purpose. Tonight though - the champagne and laughter were flowing... and there was no sign of stopping.

We were a little army of flapper girls. Looking out for each other, laughing hysterically and ripping up the dance floor until our feet hurt. It felt as though I had been friends with these girls for life.
Each moment of the evening was unexpected, unplanned and just coming at me as I enjoyed the company of those I had spent the past year with, making a difference.

I woke up the next day with a smile on my face and my fingers aggressively typing into my phone that this must be a lesson to us all.

When you are younger and you go to a house party, local bar or school dance for the first time - you have those overwhelming feelings of excitement and the unknown. It's all so new. New experiences, new friends, new opportunities, new love interests...
New is such a cool feeling.

Then what happens? You get older and your experiences from this 'new' become old. You have been delivered lessons, you get broken hearted, your morals and values change. Whatever it is, all of the sudden what was cool a couple years ago is not enjoyable anymore.
Why? because you can never replicate living in the moment. You can't control circumstances.
Think about this: Girls cry at the end of a night out on the town all the time, right? Why? Because they were hoping to re-live a night exactly as they had in the past. But guess what, its not the past anymore. It is now!

Even I am completely guilty of this. (over the past weekend, actually.)
Another lesson in living in the moment that pushed me towards today's blog entry.

A few days ago I attended a Christmas party that is a tradition in my group of friends. Every year I am happily the appointed game planner. They are always silly, ice-breaking, belly laughing kind of games - and it really sets the tone for the rest of the evening.
Diligently, I spent the days leading up to the party planning and preparing these games. When the day came my car looked more like santa's sleigh, I threw in my overnight bag and off I went.

One thing you need to understand is that my girlfriends are all 28 going on 29. Only one of the eight of us is married and she has lived hours away from the rest of us for many years. No one has children.
So, the past 14 years of this tradition it was easy for us to live in the moment, get silly and not worry about anything but being in the moment and having maximum fun.

This year however, between boyfriends (soon to-be finance's, I am sure) waiting at home, work being demanding, personal life stresses, wanting to sleep in own bed's etc... the vibe was unlike ever before. Calm, adult like and completely opposite to my pre-detemined visualization of what this yearly Christmas party would look like. My games were a flop, some didn't get played and people were all gone by midnight.

I was being sensitive and really cared the night of. Which is when 'Live in the Moment' taunted me again. This is life now! I was not living in the moment and seeing what the night brought me. I was planning the events and assuming they would be as they were in the past.
Games, dance parties and pre-planned laughs aside: Nothing is more amazing than seeing my life-long best friends. We could sit in a bare room with nothing but each other and enjoy the company, and we always pick up as though we haven't been a part a day. This is why we always have, and always will be best friends. Learning to be present in the moment, as life changes and people grow is all part of that journey.

Welcome the new amazing 'Movember Gala' type moments. To find these you usually need to step out of your comfort zone. Do something different!
And, cherish and appreciate the times and memories you have with those who have always been in your life over the holidays. Don't try to control or pre-plan the event. Just enjoy the company for who they are today because you will love them for always.

I challenged myself to being 'Yes Girl' for the remainder of the year. When someone new or someone I want more of in my life asks me to get together, work on a new project or go for tea - I make the time no matter how busy I am.
Typically I would not make time, have a nice email exchange with them and be back to my work being number one.
The opportunities that have shown up in my life in the past few weeks since doing this self-challenge are absolutely mind blowing. If you want a change in your life - you must change and allow change.

Live in the moment, tell everyone you love them and express gratitude as much as you can.

Happy Holidays!

Mo Sistas Canada at the pre-party

life long besties. Holiday party in 2005 ♥ 

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