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Column: Living in the here and now

Tanya Ryan's monthly column #LightSideUp
Tanya Ryan 2

I feel like between COVID and new motherhood - the last year has been one very steep and overwhelming learning curve for me.

I’ve been integrating and absorbing an intense amount of shifts and changes - and doing so without a lot of grace at that. My favourite part about the lot of it - is that I feel like I’m learning what it means to be truly present.

I’ve spent the majority of my life planning everything. Whether it’s my weekly schedule or my five-year plan. I’ve had it all organized to a T. Even though I felt like this was working so well - and I received a lot of praise for it from my environment - I don’t think it was really, actually, truly working for me.

I think that it really contributed to my intense feelings of failure.

When something didn’t work out that I had planned, I was crushed. Instead of taking it as a bump in the road, I would have to sit there with it and try to figure out how it could’ve gone wrong when I had everything so organized.

In addition to that, it’s taken me out of my moments and experiences because I was already planning the next part. I don’t know if I really got to just ‘be’ - I was too busy focusing on what was to come. It has likely contributed to my anxiety and general restlessness.

I want to experiment now with what happens when I trust. When I lean into opportunities and experiences that naturally arise when I am focusing on fulfilment, joy, integrity, and the things that fill my soul and make me feel purposeful - in the moment.

I wonder what it will feel like to surrender into the unplanned and the unknown - and trust that the skillsets I’ve acquired one the course of my life will be there to keep me from slamming face first into doors.

Or, more conceivably, when I inevitably do slam face first into something - perhaps I can simply trust that I have all I need to manage those uncomfortable situations, and not be strategizing ahead of time - and continue to rob myself of the joy in the moment.

I’m thankful that I’ve had so many conversations with others adopting a similar approach. This last year or so has been eye opening in that we are all allowed to let go of what we can’t control - and take ownership of our ‘now’ moments. And that feels better to me now.

I guess I just thought that if I put in so much focus, stress, and determination into having everything planned, I could save myself from uncomfortable learning opportunities. Ha - needless to say, that was naive.

Ah well, I guess I am never really supposed to have life figured out. As soon as I think I do, it throws a curve. So here I am, ready to try a new approach; fly by the seat of my pants. Take it as it comes, be curious - and aim to feel fulfilled, proud, and peaceful.

Wish me luck.