Life lessons from a Zombie, Part 1 : Living in the moment
Welcome to Mental Space Monday! Where we journey inside the rabbit hole of collective consciousness and submit to the whims of curiosity.
The following is a repost from my old blog called Utter Bliss, centered around finding bliss in the everyday. I am increasingly convinced that life is simply a trek consisting of our own search for this elusive bliss that we forget is within us, around us and smack in front of our faces. We are here to seek it, help others on their search for the same and ultimately realize that the seeking is the fun part anyway.
I am revisiting this series of posts because zombie stories are ubiquitous and don't seem to be a trend that is slowing.*(Link to old post here) I would like to support our running hypothesis on this blog that we are all drawn to what we like because there are lessons to be learned from it - even if that takes the form of a zombie movie or TV series.
And come on, who doesn't love a good zombie story ...
I recently came across a list of traits shared by those who have faced near death experiences. Those who have seen the other side of death…zombies anyone? Oddly enough, I feel that I can relate. I pre-empt this by saying that I lived a fairly sheltered, risk-free childhood. There were no broken bones, no serious accidents or diseases. (There were a lot of paper cuts; seriously, Me = Book Nerd.) I did live my entire childhood, adolescence and beyond with a pretty ugly case of depression and have just gone through a divorce from a marriage that spanned a full third of my life.
What I didn’t realize until coming across this list is that this last year has been its own sort of “near death experience” for me. By no means do I want to trivialize a true near death experience, but the changes in how I view life and how I approach the everyday are consistent with those who have stared death in the face and come out standing (or limping or crawling). We made it; and it has given us perspective. We are stronger and happier because of it.
So zombie-fighters, I propose that we look at each of these one-by-one and embrace the lessons we can learn from the undead – of which I am apparently now a part.
See below for the first of 10 lessons that us zombies have fought so hard to learn - and fight daily to remember.
Zombies have an amazing ability to live in the present
a skill that takes so much longer than a moment to achieve and yet is so simple when we stop the noise and focus only on the next step.
I am not a runner. *note heels in photo* I have tried repeatedly to be one, to like the lifestyle, to wear the “wicking things”, to want to spend good money on new shoes every 6 months (that are bought solely (excuse the pun) for function and not for their gorgeous … well, anything). My most recent foray into running started innocently enough last fall.
I was fed up. Overwhelmed. Wanted to run away from it all, so that is literally what I did. I was such a mess of emotions that while I was running I was not thinking about the things that usually fill my mind when I try to be a runner; namely: How much longer? How far have I gone? Where am I going? Can I turn back yet? No seriously, how much longer?!?
Instead, in my mental state at the time all I could think was, “run, breathe, run”. And that is when I learned to enjoy running. I wasn’t running to go anywhere, I wasn’t running to lose weight or to get killer quads or to show someone up. I was literally running to drown out the chaos. In picking up my momentum I stilled all that was racing around me and isolated my mind to the minute present. One breath, one step, repeat. I realized that I do truly enjoy taking one great step forward and feeling the air race into my lungs. I feel so alive and so capable – if I just focus on that one breath.
Living in the moment of course requires that we are not caught up in the past or the present. Personally, as a zombie I have a memory about as long as, wait…where was I going with that? Needless to say, dwelling in the past is not my biggest problem. I do find that the past is best accepted when I remind myself that I did the best I could with what I had at the time. It is so true that you can’t go home again; but if you turn your face forward in anticipation for all that is to come it helps to leave the past in its place; behind you.
Leaving the future to the future is not so easy though. I find myself focused all too often on what is to come. Can I really go a full 5k today? What am I doing tonight; this weekend? Where will I go on my next vacation? Who will I be dining on later? (Bad zombie joke – though I do have a date with my fellow undead to track down some yummy carrion/human steak bleu.) Six months after my love affair with running began, I am still enjoying the journey it takes me on – when I remember to forget where I am headed and simply enjoy the next breath; really that’s all us zombies can count on.
*PS: I am still not sold on the shoes.
“Our life is a collection of moments. Nothing more.
“Who we are is also determined by what we do in each of those moments. Decide who you would be and then act in each moment as you would have yourself act.
“We have no guarantee of tomorrow. Just right now. If we commit to each moment and live it hard whether we are laughing, crying, working or playing. One day we will fondly remember a moment and realize it was years ago. We will look back and see years well lived.
“There are no big issues, they don’t fit in each little moment. Big issues are really just sums of little issues.
“If we attack each infinitesmal time increment of our life, the integral will be simple and beautiful. If we stay true to the same ideals in doing so, it will be smooth. If we try to attack the integral as a whole, it is beyond our comprehension, since we are limited to the now, and we will fail.”.
Yes that’s me (in spirit at least) and yes I always run with balloons. So? Zombies like balloons too.
How do you stop the noise and momentum and live in the moment?
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Have a wonderful week, lovelies. Believe in your unique entelechy and actualize your wonderful.