I am a planner. Sometimes this is a good thing. I am always prepared. Sometimes it isn't. I'm less able to enjoy life as it unfolds because I'm worrying about the next moment. For several years now, I have been working on being more present and trying not to get too far ahead of myself. After all, we are supposed to enjoy the journey, right?
So, I decided to get a tattoo. I thought about it for 8 years or so- this was not a rushed decision. At first I drew a tiny little gift on my wrist. This was to symbolize the precious present. The idea was that whenever I saw it, I would take a few deep breaths and just be in that moment. I drew it on for a long time to make sure I wouldn't get tired of it. One time, when I was visiting my friend, Dena, she asked what I had drawn on my wrist. I explained it to her. I think she really liked the idea.
Dena had malignant melanoma. While all of our futures are uncertain, she really understood that the present moment is all anyone is ever guaranteed.
This November I finally decided to go for it. I had talked about it for enough years. I thought about getting the little gift, or the words "this moment" put on my wrist. My husband said I should stick to something basic as the words could bleed over time and when I was 80 it might look like a big blob. I settled on a star.
I thought about Dena when I got it. I know she was looking down on me from heaven and would be proud of me for going for it. (Dena died 5 days after her 30 birthday. )
My idea worked. I do take a moment when I see my little star. It has been a spiritual practice for me. Plus, I feel a bit more bad ass. (If you know me you are laughing out loud right now. Bad ass I am not and never will be.) While I don't suggest that everyone gets a tattoo, you could do the same thing with a bracelet or ring. Set an intention and connect it to something you wear everyday. (Or buy yourself something new just for the occasion!) When you see your special object, take a moment to remind yourself of your intention.
This blog post is dedicated to celebrating the life and spirit of Dena Rose Brown.
Please be safe and wear sunscreen.