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A Gentle Reminder to Just Enjoy the Damn Cheeseburger!

So, you might know that I love to use food analogies. Why is this? Am I that obsessed with food? Ha. Maybe! So be it. Anyway, I have a gentle reminder for you today as you may have seen in the title. I hope it grabbed your attention. I would have been all in at "cheeseburger"! So, wanna know what I'm talking about? Ready for that food analogy? Well, are ya? Okay okay, I'll get to the point.

So, you're sitting at a restaurant with friends and having a nice lunch eating a delicious cheeseburger and if you're anything like me, you're probably having a side of carbs with a yummy dip of some sort too. Seasoned sour cream please! So, what's wrong with this picture? Well, let me tell you. While you are having that lunch and and swallowing those wholesome cheeseburger calories you forgot one thing. TO ENJOY IT! Yup, that's right. You are there, eating, laughing, talking, but are you really enjoying it? Well, if you're like me, you are a little, but you're more focused on that Sushi you get to have for supper tomorrow night. In fact, you are so focused on that, that you actually can't remember how good that burger was. Shame on you. Shame on me. I'm so guilty of this.

Let's decipher this analogy, shall we? We shall! Mostly so you don't think I'm just a crazy woman who loves to write about food. What I'm talking about is being present in the moment, in your actual 3D reality, the only actual moment of time that is REAL right now! See, most of us get so caught up in all of these goals, and timelines, and dreams, and aspirations, and things we want, and things we think we need, and things we think we must have and do to keep up with "the People" (as my 10 year old often says), and "Oh damn, I'll just be so happy when X, Y, and Z fall into place!" But what about now? Isn't now more than likely a time that a former version of yourself was longing for? Is your current reality the manifestion of something you used to dream of? If not, well, you're an anomaly and you are probably bored with this blog or you're likely fooling yourself if you are saying no. Read on please. If so, well, then you are like so many of us who keep on dreaming, but never slow down long enough to actually appreciate and savor the former dream now turned reality.

Let me give you an example because maybe I'm not doing a great job of explaining myself here. I mean, I wouldn't blame you if at this point you thought I was referring to a time when you were so hungry you were dreaming of eating a cheeseburger and now you finally are eating a cheeseburger so dreams really do come true. No no no, silly. Let me explain.

I can remember so vividly a time in my life in the very beginning of my photography career when I spent so much time dreaming about one day having a studio, in a downtown area, and having clients come every day during the day hours to see me to have beautiful photos taken. A studio that had all the props, all the things. A studio where I could specialize in only what I wanted to shoot. Oh, I could only imagine it. I thought about how amazing that would be. How accomplished that would feel. How amazing life could be if I just had that. I also remember a time when I dreamed about living in a big' ol house, in a beautiful suburban neighborhood, where we knew the neighbors, and the kids's schools were all close by. Oh and there was a neighborhood pool too! Like literally, these were my dreams, my aspirations, my goals. And now, guess what? That's my reality!!! Yes! This morning I backed out of my driveway while staring at my big, pretty suburban home, came to work at my dream studio from 9am-4p, and then I'll go home to my said beautiful home in suburbia via my dream SUV that I had pictures of plastered all over my office not even a year ago! And I'll arrive there shortly after my kids arrive home from their school that is walking distance away. Say what? I dreamed all of this into reality? I sure as hell did. And we even have a neighborhood pool.

I am not highlighting these blessings in my life to brag or boast in the slightest. I hope you believe me. I do have a point in sharing all of that with you. I bet if you stop to think about where you are right now in your life (even if you're going through a rough time), there is a time you can remember dreaming about having or doing something that you have or do now, in this moment. In your current reality! Maybe you have the baby you thought you'd never have. Maybe you got that promotion you thought was out of reach. Maybe your marriage is the best it's been because of work you've put in. Or maybe you're finally out of a marriage that was making your life hell and you are free. Maybe you are cancer free now! Or maybe you are fighting cancer, but you didn't know if you'd still be here fighting in this moment and here you are, a warrior! My point is, take a minute to think about where you are now and then a time when you can remember wishing for something you have now. I promise you there is something. Even if it's as simple as the food in your fridge or the freedoms you have by living where you live. There is SOMETHING great that you have to focus on and be grateful for!

So, we spend all this time dreaming, hoping, imagining, wishing and then when the wishes are suddenly true, we're too busy focusing on the next dream, goal, or wish to really appreciate the dream that already did come true. It's crazy! But we are all guilty. It's like we got what we wanted, but it's never enough, so we keep on wishing for more. More more more! It's the American Dream!

When you think about the goal or dream that you are actually living with/in now, wasn't the journey to get there so much more fun than than short lived moment you realized you were there? Of course it was! Because the moment you realized you were there, you were already on to the next thing. Enjoy the journey to your dreams! It's the reality of your former dreams coming true!

Sometimes we go through some tough shit. Times of uncertainty. Times of health scares, financial burdens, relationship trauma, overwhelming debt, just to name a few examples, and it's all we focus on. What does that do? Well, where your attention goes, energy flows. So guess what, keep focusing on all the shit and you're just going to get more shit. I know it's hard to pull yourself out of a funk. I know it's hard to dream big or stay positive when you are faced with the unknown or dealing with something difficult in your life, but do your best to not focus on the bad or what you don't have (yet) and focus on what you DO have and be grateful for it and you will open doors to unimaginable possibilities of new amazing things to come into your life and turn your dreams into reality. Focusing on the good, draws your energy to the good, hence creating more good. It's the law. The law of attraction! Instead of focusing on the ugly, put all of your energy and thoughts into what is good now, in this moment. What you have now. Take it all in, remember when you didn't have what you have now and feel immense gratitude for this current reality that used to be only a dream.

Life isn't easy. Currently, I'm struggling with some of the "shit" life throws at us just like most everyone else is. But instead of saying, "Well, when X, Y, and Z happen, life will get better. I'll be happier then." I focus on what I can be happy about now. I look at my studio and my home and my husband and my kids and my furbabies in awe of how it all came to be. I even go as far as to really feel my steering wheel as I am driving and look at all those bells in whistles in my former dream car turned into my real car and think to myself, "Wow, this is mine. I am so happy and grateful that this is mine." Call me crazy, but this very authentic gratitude keeps bringing me more things to have gratitude for. Try it! What on earth do you have to lose for feeling gratitude for the things you have now that make you happy!? Nothing! However, you have a lot to lose by not being grateful for what you do have and focusing on all that other negative crap. Remember, the Law of Attraction?

This current "former dream" I am in, you know, my current reality, I look at it all with such astonishment and truly feel the gratitude within me rise up. It lifts my spirts to just take those moments and really look at these things or situations or people in my life and just feel the gratitude for them. And that my friends, is what keeps my dreams coming to life. Never mind that other garbage I am dealing with. It will all work out. Until then, I'll be over here focusing on and being immensely grateful for all the things I knew would work out as well.

Side note: It's not just about the material things we have to be grateful for. Please remember, things are just things. A house is a house, a car is a car, albeit they bring great joy, they are still just material things. So, first and foremost focus on the things that really matter, i.e. your health, your ability to go for a walk, your freedom of speech, the people you have that you love and who love you, just to name a few. Because if you don't have those things, none of those material things really matter anyway. So, if when you were reading my "things" I am grateful for and cursing me while thinking, "I am still dreaming of having those things. I don't have any of those things!" That's okay! Keep dreaming about the things you want, but don't loose focus of the importance of what you do have. It's as simple as being thankful for the air in your lungs. We all have something that someone else is dreaming they had too.

I hope this spoke to someone who needed to hear it today. Wishing you all all of dreams you can possibly dream up and turn to realities and the strength to keep your focus on that.

Here's a sticky note I keep at my desk. Maybe you'd like to too! It helps me to stay focused on a common blessing that we all take for granted.


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