The Anticipation of What is Next

by Nicole Serafin, age 40, Tintenbar, NSW

Living a day at a time and being in the moment of that day always felt like an art – an art I was never able to conquer.

Why is it that we are unable to simply be where it is that we are at? Why are we always looking ahead to what needs to be done next, or where we should be next, rather than being in the present? There are always things to be done and places to be. Could it be that the things we do could be done efficiently and clearly if we simply focussed on what we were doing in the moment we were doing them, before moving on to what was needed next?

I have felt the push to be somewhere, to get something done so as to move on to what is next, never stopping to feel what it was that I was actually doing. I had been caught up in doing, being in life in overdrive, and often on automatic pilot.

Living like this made me very impatient; never still long enough to enjoy what I was doing or who I was with. I always had in the back of my mind whatever was next. My days were exhausting as I used up most of my energy getting to somewhere before I had even left the place I was at.

Have you ever had that feeling of being ahead of yourself? Have you ever taken a glass out of a cupboard but already been one step towards the fridge to fill it? Or driven off from home not able to remember if you had closed and locked the front door?

I began to stop and wonder why it was that I could get to work and not even remember driving past the usual landmarks that were on my way. It amazed me how much I missed or did not remember because I was not truly present in a moment to begin with. I began to stop and take note of what it was that I was actually doing, and how I was doing it. I stopped and took the time to feel the simple things, like how fast I turned the tap on or how I prepared things. It began to make a huge difference in my day and how I was left at the end of it.

Gradually I could recall that yes, I had locked the front door when I left the house and no, the iron was not on. I could recall this because I was taking the time to be present in each moment as I was doing things. I began to bring my focus to other areas of my day and gradually life became not so crazy and hectic. I actually enjoyed whatever it was I was doing in the moment and took that feeling with me to what was needed in the next moment, and so on.

I now have energy left at the end of my day. I no longer live in the anticipation of where I should be next or what needs to be done next. I am no longer constantly in my head trying to remember ‘did I do that or not?’ These simple choices have changed my life in many different areas and continue to do so. The way that I choose to live and be with me brings changes to not only myself, but also to everything and everyone around me.

I now wake in the mornings without the rush of what needs to be done but rather with me, simply doing what needs to be done – one thing at a time. I get to work and live my day in the same easiness that I got up in, rather than in the overwhelm and raciness. I now have the space to be able to get everything plus more done, not only in the mornings, but also throughout the day. I find I am able to enjoy my family and children completely, being able to stop and be with them. There is a feeling of contentment from everyone.

I still fall into the trap of my past ways (life tends to support that). I notice that if I go into the doing and overwhelm of life there is no longer a flow and my day becomes quite challenging – challenging because I am trying to do ahead of myself, rather than to just be and do what is needed… and move on to the next thing from that. I know I can continue to make choices to be with myself in all that I do. The true vitality and enjoyment this presence brings me, and the ripple effect it has on the people around me, is well worth it.

554 thoughts on “The Anticipation of What is Next

  1. Being present in each moment is a quality that makes my life run very smoothly and simply, at times I can become very ‘busy’ and my mind takes over and I become very racy in my body and it feels exhausting.

  2. Great sharing Nicole, I have been caught by getting exhausted because I was always looking at what was next when I was still working on something else, to be concentrating on one thing is very joyful, and hugely rewarding, then when that job is finished we can move onto the next thing.

  3. Have you ever had that feeling of being ahead of yourself? Yes this was how I lived, I was always rushing to get things done and to get to places – thus having no presence of how I got there, being so focused on the destination! Thankfully I no longer live like this and in fact rushing feels so yucky in my body.

  4. In establishing a true rhythm and flow to our day we are able to enjoy building a quality of presence with ourselves, connecting to a harmony and inner wisdom within our body that guides our body to know what is next.

  5. Conscious presence should be a subject at school, to command the mind to be disciplined enough to remain with the activity it is carrying out, can be quite challenging in a world that promotes multitasking and forward planning as key tool to stay organised. I am in hospitality and when it gets really busy and you have loads of meals to make or coffee to get out, the only way to get it all out in a fast fashion is to be with each movement, as if you only have that one customer, or one docket, as soon as you get ahead of yourself, you’re in trouble.

  6. Being in the moment without any purpose doesn’t quite work, we need focus and purpose and to be always asking what is next, but without losing ourselves in our heads. Still a work in progress for me!

  7. If we can simply focus and do what is in front of us, and everything else will actually fall into place… It really is simple and yet to the mind this is almost impossible… Luckily our mind does not have to run us.

  8. ‘My days were exhausting as I used up most of my energy getting to somewhere before I had even left the place I was at.’ when you write it down like that it looks ridiculous, why should we even try but it is what we do until we stop and appreciate each moment and simply bring our quality to it

  9. Love it Nicole, for many people it seems maybe normal to forget if we locked the front door or turned of the heating when leaving home but it is actually not normal and we can live in a way that is constantly with ourselves which naturally makes us not forget what we have done. To be able to do this I found I have to be willing to feel how I am feeling at all times and not ‘check out’ of how I feel. When I do that I am reminded when I go out of the door and am not sure if I turned the lights off for instance.

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