If you’re having an off day, feeling a bit discombobulated, or dealing with a surge of anxiety, pause and take a breath. Then ask yourself,
Where am I?
What am I doing?
How did I get here?
Your answers tell your story. You can decide what happens next. All you have to do is make a truthful plan.
On Sunday mornings I read “Brain Pickings”, a newsletter by Maria Popova. I’ve been subscribing to her finely curated musings for a couple of years. She fills my Sunday mornings with an astonishing spectrum of articles about great thinkers and doers of the ages. Always very interesting!
As I was working on this piece for PONDER, her newsletter appeared in my inbox. In the article, "The Psychology of Time and the Paradox of How Impulsivity and Self-Control Mediate Our Capacity for Presence", I found a quote from Franz Kafka that pinned my thoughts on the importance of staying in the moment and not allowing existential anxiety to knock us off track:
"Reality is never and nowhere more accessible than in the immediate moment of one’s own life. It’s only there that it can be won or lost. All it guarantees us is what is superficial, the facade. But one must break through this. Then everything becomes clear."
"The truth is always an abyss. One must — as in a swimming pool — dare to dive from the quivering springboard of trivial everyday experience and sink into the depths, in order later to rise again — laughing and fighting for breath — to the now doubly illuminated surface of things."