Here I was, standing at the front door of my house, holding a teacup full of ice and water.
I wasn’t about to drink it.
I was just holding it.
It felt weird. But,
This was practice for being in the present
I had never heard of this cold-water thing before. But I trusted that my therapist knew what she was talking about. I’ve been happy with therapy so far.
She said it’s easy to forget that the present is all we have. We tend to get too hung up about the past, or worry too much about the future. But we’re almost never 100% in the present. Too often, we end up mentally escaping into the virtual worlds of our phones and computers. So, she wanted me to practise being in the present.
“Holding a cup of ice-cold water will help you focus on the present. Use your senses to pay attention to what’s happening around you at that point in time” she told me.
The idea struck me as weird. But I figured there wasn’t any harm trying this cold-water thing.
A week later, I had my first opportunity to do this.
It was a rainy Saturday afternoon
The air was crisp and cool. The kind of weather that would be wonderful to fall asleep to.
There was an odd but soothing mix of sounds. The pitter-patter of rain, the chirping of birds, and the frying of food.
My Dad was working at his desk, while my Mum was taking a nap. Our helper was cooking. Eight time zones away, my brother woke up to a brand-new day.
All’s well with the world.
The teacup felt so cold, nestled in my palms.
Inevitably, my mind started to wander
I let it. I thought about the things that happened over the past few weeks. A new boss. An uncomfortable fireside chat that involved everyone at the office. Big changes that were coming my way. Him.
All of a sudden, a random thought struck me.
Here I was, in this peaceful cold-water-in-my-hands moment.
All the highs and lows I experienced, the odd meanders my life has taken, the people I’ve met along the way, the things I’ve won and lost … everything has led to this moment.
What happens from here on, I wondered. A week from now? Next month? Next year? I wouldn’t know. In many ways, I never expected my life so far to turn out the way it did.
I didn’t think that I’d work in a startup someday.
I didn’t think that I’d meet the people who changed my life.
I didn’t think I’d have some of the adventures I had.
The future, beyond this moment, is vast. The possibilities are infinite. The only way to find out is to continue forward, step by step …
I stood like this for a while, savouring the moment
Then, I sipped the cold water in my tea cup.
How wonderful to have made it this far, all the way up to this precious moment! Now is all I have, and now is enough.
I stared into the pale grey sky and said my little prayer. The one I recite almost every day:
“Thank you for all the good things that happened so far. I’m grateful, and I’ll continue to do my best.”
I smiled and went back to my room.