One thing I’m not is to woo woo, but I think the universe sends you lessons all the time.
We have water dragons hanging out on a landing by the Yarra River, where I walk. The first time I saw one it scared the dickens out of me—I thought it was going to attack. Of course, it didn’t, water dragons aren’t aggressive, but it’s huge. And it must be mum, because now there’s a smaller version of it.
For the last couple of months, I’ve been thinking, ‘I haven’t seen them for ages, hope they’re okay.’ It didn’t really click with me that they’ve probably been there all along, and the reason I haven’t seen them is on me.
For some reason when I walk my competitive spirit kicks in. If I see someone ahead of me, I have to pass them, and if someone passes me, I’m really annoyed and try to catch up to them. Runners are fine, they’re not in the competition.
Yes, I’ve asked myself why I’m not letting that go, why am I still consumed with wanting to win even on a Sunday walk with no time frame I need to be back home for.
It took my water dragons to sort me out. The other day I decided to take time on my walk to go and see if they were there. I saw mama, she’s fine—then I see baby as I came up the stairs.
Then I see the truth: I hadn’t seen them for a while because I hadn’t stopped rushing because I hadn’t stopped wanting to win rather than enjoy the moment.
If you give yourself the time for things, you’ll see what you’re missing.
How do you enjoy the moment? Here’s my tips:
Practice mindfulness: centre yourself with a few deep breaths, focus on your senses, let go of worries past and present, and immerse yourself in the here and now. Whatever you’re doing—eating, walking, sitting in the sun—pay attention to every detail and sensation.
Limit distractions: cut out the stuff that takes you away from being in the moment. Put away your phone. Create a calm environment by minimising clutter and noise. Prioritise tasks and responsibilities so you can be fully present when it matters most.
Cultivate gratitude: write down things you’re grateful for every day. Take a moment to reflect on the positive aspects of your current situation or surroundings. Express appreciation by telling people in your life how much they mean to you. Try to find silver linings in challenges so you focus on the present rather than negativity.