Living in the Moment with a Grateful Heart

I caught myself walking up the stairs in the dark, carrying a one-gallon water jug ready to handle the nightly ritual of tucking my sons in. This is my nightly routine every day from Monday through Friday. I go upstairs around the same time each night to get my sons into bed, for yes they do have a bed “time”.

I make sure they’re tucked in and ready to fall asleep, but this isn’t a story about my bedtime routine for a preteen and teen, no. This is a story about how my mind tried to take me away from the magic of this routine.

Let me get back to the moment; I was walking upstairs with a one-gallon water jug in my hand to get my sons tucked into bed …

For a brief moment, I caught myself dreading this walk up the stairs.

I started thinking about how my knees hurt when I go upstairs.

I started thinking about how one son would give me that “wait a minute” even though he knew his bedtime hour was coming.

I started thinking about how I had to fill the water bottle for the other son.

I started thinking about how tired I get going up and down the stairs.

For a brief moment, I caught myself thinking without a grateful heart.

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I was being negative for a moment. I was focusing on everything I didn’t appreciate about this moment. The moment when it’s time to tuck my 12 and 14-year-old sons into bed. While I don’t really tuck them in like one would when tucking in a toddler, I still put their blanket or sheet over them, hug them, and let them know I love them before saying goodnight.

This ritual may involve a walk up the stairs in a dark hallway.

This ritual may involve my knees aching for they don’t handle stairs like they used to.

This ritual may involve the older boy trying to push his bed “time” out a bit longer.

Sure, this ritual may involve obstacles and challenges in one way or another, but this ritual is good. I am truly blessed to have a close relationship with my children. I’m truly blessed to have already raised one child who is now looking to go out into the world living their own life on their own terms.

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I am truly blessed to be here on Earth, walking up those stairs to tuck my sons into bed, aching knees or not.

This, my friends, isn’t new to me. The brief moment of my mind telling me everything I *should* dislike about a moment. My mind trying to suck me down into a spiral of negativity that doesn’t belong in this moment.

The privilege of being able to tuck my preteen and teen son into bed is something that I should be grateful for. The privilege of having two sons who still don’t mind having their Mama come put a blanket on them, hug them and tell them she loves them.

This privilege is something that not every Mama gets, and with that thought, I must remind myself to always live in the moment with a grateful heart. I adjusted my thoughts in the short time it took me to walk up the less than 20 steps to the boys’ bedrooms.

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I gave a good hug and a kiss on the cheek to my youngest son. I put the blanket on my older son and locked hands with the “I love you sign” and told him the same thing I’ve said to him at bedtime since he was a toddler.

All in all, during this brief moment of walking up the stairs my mind went from getting myself upset about all that I didn’t adore about this moment to focusing on everything I’m grateful for in this moment.

I did it all in less than 30 seconds!

It’s amazing what a person’s mind can do.

Our brain is an amazing tool, and it has the power to transform our lives. With just under 30 seconds I was able to put myself into a positive mood, smile when I gave my sons their bedtime hugs, and walk downstairs to write this article.

So, how can you live in the moment with a grateful heart?

In the past, I would have said something like, “well, that’s simple”, but truth be told it isn’t that simple. You really have to be aware of what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling in the moment.  The art of being self-aware comes naturally to some while taking a lot of effort for others.

I firmly believe the best way to learn how to live in the moment with a grateful heart is to always work on self-improvement. You’ll need to get a 52-week Guided Journal and perhaps some positive affirmation cards. You can make your own positive affirmation cards simply by clicking through to use this website and write your positive affirmations on paper or index cards.

I highly suggest you do buy a guided journal or simple gratitude journal though. 

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Self-improvement comes in many forms but for the purpose of today’s “lesson”, I’m focused on helping you become more self-aware. Once you start to use the guided journal to write down everything you’re grateful for and journal your thoughts each day, you’ll soon find that a grateful heart comes naturally.

You’ll start to see life through a different pair of eyes.

You’ll start to be more aware of what you’re thinking and feeling during the day.

You’ll start to see beauty all around you.

You’ll start to recognize when negative thoughts creep into your mind.

You’ll feel more confident about yourself and your life.

You’ll find yourself physically stopping in a moment to pause your thoughts so that you can redirect them to be more grateful with each moment you live.

Yes, I did physically STOP going up those stairs that night. I stopped so that I could recognize the negative thought patterns and correct them. 

The best way for you to start living life in the moment with a grateful heart is to give yourself some leeway. Do not place unrealistic expectations on yourself as you work to be more self-aware. Use the journal and positive affirmation cards to assist in the training process of controlling your mind.

Take each moment and each day one at a time. If you spiraled into a negative tantrum today, that’s okay. Jot down your thoughts and feelings in the journal and work through it. Recognize what happened, how you felt, and what you can do differently the next time to regain control of your thoughts and feelings.

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This is going to take practice and you’ll need to continue to repeat the same steps each day until you become a natural-born mind controller.  I know you can do it, you just have to have some faith in yourself and a commitment to want to live with a more grateful heart.

I’ll be back with some more goodies and tips to help you along with this process, but for now, just take this one baby step forward by purchasing a 52-week guided journal and make those positive affirmation cards to read every day.

Why is it so hard to live in the moment?

It's so hard to live in the moment because our subconscious mind has been trained to go into autopilot. It isn't until you work hard to train your subconscious mind a new behavioral pattern that living in the moment becomes easier.

Can we live in the moment?

Yes, we can live in the moment. Since the only part of our life that's a guarantee is right now, that means you're living in the moment quite literally.

How do I become more present?

You can become more present by training your subconscious mind new behavioral patterns and thought patterns. In time, you'll learn to pay close attention to the person or event you're around at the present moment.


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