I was in New Orleans, my hometown, last week for Mardi Gras. I had the joy of participating in the festivities from two perspectives. I rode in a parade one night and also stood on the street among the other parade watchers at other times.
What struck me about each vantage point was that in addition to having pure fun, I was completely present and in the moment. There was no thinking about the past, future, worries or anticipation of things to come.
When I was riding, I was taking in the crowd and tossing beads to enthusiastic revelers. The only concern I had was to throw the beads so people could catch them in the air and to not hurt someone.
While on the ground, I was focused on the beauty of the floats and also trying to catch beads or a rider’s attention. Again, the only place to be was in the joy of the moment.
When I got home, my everyday reality appeared and began vying for my attention. It was reminding me of emails to be read and sent, a presentation to be practiced, laundry to be washed and organizing/unpacking to be done.
As I look at my stash of beads, I am reminded of just staying present and enjoying whatever I am doing in the moment. Do not get caught up in the swirl of all the “to-do’s.”
As I go forward and find myself distracted from my current activity, I am going to ask myself, “Are you catching beads?” This is my signal to return to the present and find the joy. (My theme for the year.)
What are you catching?