2017 Part 1 – Presence and Living for Today

Happy Sunday, followers! And happy Easter to all those who celebrate!

As shared in Six Years and a Degree!!, my professional and personal accomplishments continued to pile on throughout 2016, and the fullness of the life I live today began to build...

As 2017 began, I was recovering from another major knee surgery. This was the second time I had a major knee surgery and I learned my lesson from the first one - I needed something to do to occupy time, as being confined to home and not being very mobile took such a huge toll on my mental health the first time around. I dove into different practices that could help my well-being. As spring came around, I healed as much as I would and came back to life a bit.

I participated that spring in a weekend workshop that included taking a deep dive into my past, especially how it related to my then current state. What a powerful weekend. I realized in such short time how consumed I was with my own past and the thinking that drives so many humans. For maybe the first time in my life, I was able to truly set aside all of what had happened in my past and become fully present. I saw things on the freeway and in nature that I had never seen before, even though I had physically passed those things many times, maybe hundreds, before.

About mid-summer that year, I took a trip to Massachusetts, bringing some Minnesota family with this time. It was one of the more incredible trips I had taken. We explored Boston, visited the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire, went whale watching, and much more. Again, so much world to see that I was finally seeing!

Later that summer, I heard or read somewhere, about the concept of living each day as if it was the last. Literally. In that moment, on a Sunday evening, I decided to play a game. I asked myself, if I had 24 hours to live, what were three things I'd want to do that taking time for granted prevented me from doing? Since I had to work the next day, I called it a 48 hour game. The three things fell into three buckets - human relationship, spiritual relationship, and service. I gave myself 48 hours to do the following:

  • Reach out to a couple women I had been in longer term relationships with to take amends to the next level. I had said I was sorry to both in the past, but had never really gotten into their worlds to understand how I had shown up for and impacted them. What an exercise! It was both completing and healing, to the fullest extent.
  • Get baptized. At 30 years old, I had never been baptized. My brother and best friend baptized me in a river. Another incredible, unforgettable experience. Click here to watch the video
  • Schedule a fun event for a child with cancer I had been working with, through the chapter of the charity I opened in 2015. I ended up scheduling a trip to the Mall of America for the boy and a half dozen of his siblings, and parents of course. That was followed by a special experience at a Minnesota Twins game. This was the beginning of a new movement within the foundation - family experiences.

In less than a couple days, I had taken more action on things than I might have in months otherwise. And the ripple effect of all those is not something I can even express here. I ended up with dating opportunities showing up almost immediately, experienced a new level of spirituality and sparked others in my life to take the same step with baptism, and finally - began a trend of providing experiences to families of children battling cancer and other serious diseases that would forever impact the lives of many kiddos and families.

The greatest lesson of this post is this - when we find a way to be right with other humans, practice Spiritual principles, and give back to the world, the most satisfying experiences and feelings show up in more frequent and obvious ways. The world has endless possibilities for us humans, it's up to us to go get them! The rest of 2017 would only add more of those incredibly satisfying and gratifying experiences. Stay tuned for more, as we turn the final corner of bringing this blog up to current times! Subscribe below to receive email notifications of new posts.

Blessings,

J

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