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What 2023 Taught Me in a Nutshell: Do Nothing and Do it Well

busy sidewalk with woman stopped looking at the sky
Image: Adobe Stock

Sometimes, the best course of action is no course of action. Does that mean when I'm stressed I stop what I'm doing and take a big, long nap? Well, yeah. Sometimes, that's exactly what it means.

But other times, most of the times, when I'm filled with anxiety and struggling to solve a problem or find my way through a challenge--which, as a small business owner is often--the best remedy is to turn down the noise, get still, and ground myself in the present moment.

But why?

Well, for one, it's safe. Being present allows me to take stock of the real-time facts:

  • I'm breathing, which means I'm still alive (yay!);

  • I've got a roof over my head and food in the pantry, which means I'm secure and solvent at a time when many others around the world are not;

  • For all its problems, I still live in a country where I am free to be who I am; and

  • I've got people in my life who love me--imperfect, messy, complicated me.

What more could I possibly need?

In life, I've gained and lost and gained again--business, relationships, money, weight. It's an ever changing river that ebbs and flows, and you never quite know when the next big drop might hurl you from the raft. But I've also discovered that certainty does exist in a single, narrow slice of time and space known as the present moment.

The present moment is a free gift--a blessing from the Universe that is always available to us when we need it. And one day, it will end. Because the next moment, and the next, and the one after that aren't guaranteed. We like to think they are--it's what keeps us going. But look to any conflict, act of violence, or natural disaster around the world, and you'll soon recognize that our presence, and opportunities to lean into what's good, will eventually come to a close.

So as we move into 2024, I invite you to take time out of each day to just get still. Unsubscribe from the chaos, turn off the TV, the phone, the podcast, and your monkey mind. Take delight in the only moment that truly exists, right here, right now.

Give yourself 3, 5, or 10 minutes of unapologetic "be here now" time, whether that means you meditate, pray, or just sit in blissful silence. It may not solve all of your problems, but it just might be the respite that brings you the clarity you need to address them.

And at the very least, it can bring into focus all that you have to be grateful for in this crazy thing we call life. Wishing you all the good things in 2024 and beyond!

Side note: Some of you have asked why Writing Prompt Wednesday stopped so abruptly so soon after it started... Like many people, sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. Writing Prompt Wednesday will return in 2024, slightly modified in its approach so that I can fully commit to it. 'Til then, write on!

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