The Art of Checking In

About two months ago, I was riding on the back of a dune buggy, hopping from one postcard-perfect beach to another, basking under a hot and glorious midday sun with my husband and a few friends.  We were cruising around a tiny Brazilian seaside town, I was having the time of my life. 

It was a perfect day, and I knew I’d want to remember it. But I didn’t want to just remember the sound of the ocean or the turquoise water or the sun beaming down on me like I was a favored child – I wanted to remember the actual feelings I was experiencing: Joy. Contentment. Peace. Happiness.

I took a deep breath and consciously allowed these sentiments to wash over me like waves. I closed my eyes and met each one with total acceptance and gratitude, knowing that the more I dwelled on them, the more they would stick with me later.

Sure, I looked a little crazy doing this while the rest of my group snapped photos and belted out Portuguese folk songs, but the thing is, because I took that moment to check in with myself, I can now conjure that memory with crystal clarity, almost as if I’m there again. How cool is that?

And yet, isn’t it funny how we as humans seem to have no problem “checking in” with ourselves when a negative situation arises? Have you ever noticed this? How a thoughtless comment or a harsh word gets replayed over and over in your mind, and then sticks with you months or even years later?

This happens – and believe me, I’m guilty of it – because we involuntarily meditate on the jab, mentally rehashing it, essentially amplifying the injury.

So let’s not do that. Let’s instead brush aside the negative things that happen and magnify our positive experiences. Let’s replay the heartfelt compliment our boss gave us last Tuesday, or the the way we feel when we’re given encouragement by someone we hold in high regard. Let’s close our eyes and breathe in the sunsets and the thank you cards and choruses of our favorite songs and yes, the glorious beach trips or mountain hikes.

Let’s augment and enhance our laughs and thrills and pockets of glee, letting them run over us with reckless abandon.

In other words, let’s check in with ourselves when confronted with bliss, and allow these moments to be memorialized.

Have you successfully “checked in” lately? Comment below!↓↓


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