Yesterday I shared a (day late) weekend recap of a very special 48 hours in my life spent at a retreat called SMASH 48.
It was a women’s-only weekend retreat held on campgrounds and put on by my church that left me feeling amazing.
During the recap, I mentioned that we had four sessions led by different inspirational women, each directed towards a specific thought and purpose.
I noticed some enthusiasm by a few of your comments to expand on what I took away from each of the sessions, so this afternoon I am sharing the first of them.
SMASH 48 Discussions
Before we get going, I want to share an important acronym: R.E.A.L.
The theme of the camp for the first four years (starting in 2013) is leaving a REAL Deal Impact. In order to do so, we must get through four main principles: Release Control. Embrace Your Role. Accept Yourself. Love God and Others.
You all know that I will share a bible verse on the blog every now and then, but by no means do I ever try to push any type of religion on you. I am a Christian, but I don’t think anything less of anyone who doesn’t share my personal beliefs and practices.
With that being said, I hope that since this is a discussion prompted by a church retreat, it doesn’t scare any of you away. Instead, I ask you to challenge yourself and keep an open mind and possibly even take away something to apply to your own life!
Session 1: Embracing the Here and Now
This year’s retreat was all about the E, or Embracing Your Role, and the first discussion was focused on living in present.
How often do we get stuck in the past or obsess over what will happen in the future? So much, that it affects our every day lives?
What we may not realize is that this can essentially affect our quality of life.
The concept of living for today is not a new one for me, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t need a reminder to think about it and asses my bad habits.
Some of you might remember me discussing moving past what doesn’t matter in a recent Coffee Talk post.
Clearly, I have been guilty of dragging the past around me before.
But what I found even more interesting was the contradicting concept of becoming too consumed in the future. I, myself, can get caught up in this concept just as easily.
“Where am I going to be five years from now?”
“I just want to be married and have kids!”
“I wish my career would start already…”
All of these thoughts have run through my mind and have taken over my thoughts at one point or another.
It’s one thing to take time to heal from situations, but a lot of us hold on for too long and dwell on negativity for an unhealthy period of time.
The same thing goes for the future. Often times we get so caught up in the person we want to become and thinking about tomorrow that we completely skip over what’s happening in our lives today.
Our speaker for this session was Michelle and she has an incredible story. She’s overcome a lot of challenges in her life, and from the outside you would never know about the struggles she is dealing with inside.
A big part of her message came from this passage:
There is a time for everything to happen in your life, and that includes the good times and the hard times.
If life was meant to be perfect and have all the answers given to you, we wouldn’t struggle and we wouldn’t grow. We wouldn’t have break ups, tragedies, or hardships, and as a result we wouldn’t learn from our mistakes and apply that knowledge towards the future.
After the discussion, we went back to our cabins to talk about the message and this quote really hit home for me.
Not only do I dwell in the past, but I constantly find myself thinking about what’s in store for the future.
Embrace Your Season
Do you ever spend so much time thinking about the past or future that you miss what’s going on in your life right here are now? I sure do.
I can’t tell you how many times I have used the excuse of moving and relocating our lives as my answer to questions. In my eyes, living here in Michigan still seems somewhat temporary.
I have a job that can virtually move anywhere, and we don’t have any plans of buying property in the near future. “Are you going to have kids?” is a question that comes up on the regular that I really can’t answer. We just don’t feel settled. We don’t have our house, our fenced in yard for Roadie, and at times even a clue on when that process is going to start.
For the longest time, I didn’t want to know Michigan. It felt different, weird, COLD, and somewhere I had no interest in calling home. I have dealt with moving to the mid-west pretty well, but miss where I come from and can’t help but think of all of the other possible places we could live. Especially when it’s ridiculously freezing outside for no reason whatsoever!
I am so, so thankful for the friendships I have made over the past year. For this reason alone, I have let my guard down just a little and have gotten to know a lot more about my areas and state we live in. I’m starting to discover really unique and neat things Michigan has to offer, and it just makes me think of how my silly ways of non-acceptance has done nothing but hold me back thus far.
Because of my lame excuses, I feel like I somewhat missed out on a year of my life! I was so stuck in the “well this is how it used to be” and “this is what I want it to be” way of thinking, that I never let myself enjoy each day for what it was. And to be completely transparent, I was not happy.
It’s hard moving away from everything you know without bringing your past and long-term hopeful future life with you… but there comes a time – a season – where that has to pass.
For me, that is my season right now. And something as simple as this cabin discussion had a big part in helping me realize that.
If you look close enough you might be able to see a wooden stick on the floor with ribbons tied to it. Each of us were asked to right down what season we are currently in from the scripture and explain why we chose that word to the group.
Mine was peace. Because I’m done fighting for the past and the future. I want to be happy with where my life is today, and that is what I am finally at peace with.
As you can see, Scott has fully embraced (his) Michigan(gster) self. It’s time for me to do the same.
If you find yourself in similar struggles, please remember that you aren’t given any more than you can handle. Life isn’t fair, and it isn’t supposed to be. The grass usually always seems greener on the other side, but it usually isn’t. All you need to worry about is your grass.
Concentrate on what you’re doing right here and now. Today. Don’t let your constant worry or stress about the future ruin what you could be experiencing today.
Strive to leave the past behind you, the future ahead of you, and seek happiness in living for today!
Chrissy @ Pink Polish and Running Shoes
Great post! Embracing the here and now is definitely a lesson I need to learn. I’m always two steps ahead worrying about the future.
It’s not the easiest lesson to learn, or even remember, but I’m definitely thankful for the reminder!
I can really relate to this post, Heather. I have been living in the past for far too long. Wishing things were as the used to be. All it causes is pain. It’s just so hard to let go. I, like you, moved from Florida, a place where I couldn’t have been happier. And now moving back home to the midwest feels like such a disappointment. I know these are not godly thoughts, and I’m hoping to learn to be at peace with the direction life has taken me. Thanks for making me stop to think about things. Guess I need to pray about it more.
Hey, I feel ya sister. Praying is never a bad idea, and in fact, I have noticed a huge improvement in my life and attitude since I’ve been doing it more consistently.
Also, sometimes our memories of what things used to be make everything seem like it was perfect. It’s harder to remember the bad times, but must realize they happened there too. Keep your head up, Kara! It’s amazing how much a positive outlook can change your life! 🙂
Runner Girl Eats
I love love love this post and think every 20 something has felt this at some point or another. I am soooo guilty of waiting until things are just right and missing the moment or just let life happens. This was a perfect reminder to embrace life just how it is and not live in the past/future.
So needed this reminder today!!! Thank you! Keep the wisdom coming, sister!! 😉
I’m pretty sure that I needed to be at that event. Wow. Thank you for making me think about this. My life is in a full state of chaos right now, but it is the beginning of an exciting adventure.
Powerful. I’m excited to hear about the next session.
Sounds like it was a great retreat! Thanks for that reminder today! Embracing the now is definitely something I’ve been working on. I have a tendency to wish my life away looking forward to the things to come, all the while missing the awesome things happening now.
Don’t we all? Glad you could relate to this as well. Hope you have a great weekend!
Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment
Such a good post! It really made me think. Sometimes I believe that I am the only one worrying about the past or trying to predict the future, but I know that’s not the case. Great reminder!
You’re certainly not alone in that. Glad you enjoyed the post. Have a great weekend!