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Building Memories by Staying Present

How is your August going? Have you made any new connections? Have you enjoyed some time on the porch or said hello to your neighbors? Have you met new people as you have been transitioning from summer to fall?

Today I want to share something that I learned recently… a MAJOR AH-HA MOMENT if you will.

The thing I want to talk about today is this: “You can’t build a memory if your mind isn’t in the present moment.”

Wait! What?

“You can’t build a memory if your mind isn’t in the present moment.”

Well… my first thought when I heard this was, “‘That’s why I keep losing my keys!!!” Makes complete sense if I set them down while my mind is tied up with something else that I would have no memory of where I put them, right?

But the reality is that it is so much deeper than that. If I’m always thinking about the to-do list or about what my friend posted on social media or about something unkind that was said to me, I won’t remember the little moments with my kids, spouse, or friends. If I’m worried about what I saw in the news or thinking about how I could have handled a situation differently or any of a thousand other things, I won’t remember even the most meaningful moments that are happening right now.

So if this is true… and I believe that it is… how can we take back our memories?

It starts with the decision to be present in the moment. For me the best way to know if I’m present is to check in with my senses… What am I seeing? What am I hearing? What am I tasting or smelling? What am I touching? And then I connect them to myself… How am I feeling because of what I’m sensing? Do I feel happy? Do I feel connected? Do I feel content?

Our world is full of distractions and notifications that are constantly pulling us away from present moments, so I encourage you today to take a look at how you can connect more to the things that are happening around you right now. Take time to feel the heat of the sun, the coolness in the splash of the rain, the prickles of the grass. Take time to really taste the fresh peaches and to smell the spiced apples. Really listen to the sound of kids catching the school bus or leaves crunching under your feet. Pay attention to the people around you. What are they saying? What are they doing? How are they feeling? Connect these little moments to yourself. As you do this you will find that you start to fill your mind with so many new memories!

And after all... what else do we keep but our memories?

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