Sunday, June 14, 2015

Blessings: G-d's Tool to Actualize the Present

Wow, it's been a while. Things have been hectic around here, and time just flies.

I came across this thought from my 'quote of the day' calendar and it really struck a chord with me.
"Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quick you hardly catch it going." -Tennessee Williams, American playwright, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore
To be honest, I haven't read this play - so I don't know the context of where it comes from. However, I do find two different amazing ideas here and the more I've thought about these ideas, the more deeply I feel about them.

First is the idea of creating good and positive memories - especially with children. It's so true that "life is all memory". Scary in a way too - to think in that way. As a mom, when I'm frustrated with my kids for whatever reason, it is easy to forget myself and let the frustration carry me. Then my biggest, R, asks me - to "smile Mommy". I have to remember that my lack of a smile is what she is going to remember. I have to find another way to get done what I need to get done.

It is obvious to say that we all have aggravating and crazy days where we yell and create a lousy atmosphere in the house - but on the whole, if we can keep in mind that with everything we do, we are creating memories - then perhaps we can approach our lives and our children's memories in a different, more positive way.

Second is the next part of the quote: "... except for the one present moment that goes by you so quick you hardly catch it going."

We have to stay in the present moment - a virtually impossible task. If I'm on the phone, I could be checking my email or scrolling through Facebook - am I really present when talking to my friend? If my kid is telling me about their day - am I actually listening to their voice, or am I thinking about what's going to happen next when we get home? Am I really present at all?

When I first read this quote and let it bounce around my brain, I started to attempt to be more present. When I fed my baby, I'd say to myself, 'I'm nursing my baby now'. If I was on the phone, I'd try to be an active listener, and so on...

Then it occurred to me that this point is what the brachot are about - the blessings that we make, or attempt to make - being present - taking the time to be aware of what we are doing, moment to moment.

We stop to have a cup of coffee - we make our coffee and drink it down before we even notice that we had made it to begin with! (A little depressing really.) If we actually think about the bracha/blessing that we make before drinking... that we are aware of our actions, it can change our entire perspective on life.

If we take a moment to focus on the present - if we understand that G-d gave us a tool... the brachot, to give us a way of staying in the moment, just for that moment - it's a whole new world.

Pretty amazing.

Stay positive and stay present!

Brachot Handbook
Blessings for Various Occasions