“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” — Buddha
All of us have given this concept thought at some point in our lives, either because we ourselves wish we did it better or because we are giving advice to people we care about who could use some help focusing on today.
I personally have struggled with this notion for much of my life. I have always lived in the future, working out in my mind what will be happening, instead of focusing what IS happening. But I am getting better and I have to be honest, I have cancer to thank.
When you meet and talk with a young woman struggling through breast cancer, you can’t help but look at life differently, realizing the wisdom behind this notion.
When you are faced with the horror of losing a young woman with breast cancer that you love, you find yourself focusing on right now because life is precious and you don’t want it to end.
I am also finding that the motto of living in the present is helping me through my journey of taking my body back from cancer.
For someone like me, who is new to the sport of cycling, all the equipment and the experience of sitting on a bike seat for six hours — focusing on the many hours to come as you ride towards your goal can be overwhelming.
But as my dear friend Kristin Westbrook always reminds me … that if you focus on the right now, it really isn’t all that bad. Actually, I have found that when you focus on the exact moment you are in and not how much more you have to go or a big hill in your future - the experience shifts. Suddenly you notice a cool bird flying beside you, or engage in a great conversation with a fellow rider, or just let your mind rest as your body works …
So, how will I make it from Philly to D.C. on a bike after only riding a bike six months, two years after a cancer diagnosis? WHO KNOWS!!! I am not going to think about it now, I will focus on today instead and know that each moment will be a step towards my goal of taking my body back from cancer.