The day before I was to fly home from vacation, I went to see a very funny comedy show. While waiting for the show to start I found my thoughts drifting to tomorrow and having to fly home, and the next day when I’d have to start work again. “This is the last day of my vacation,” I thought. Suddenly I felt anxious and depressed. In reality, there was nothing I needed to do today to prepare for tomorrow or the next day. So, in order to be present and enjoy this day I did the boundary tap* to prevent tomorrow from leaking into today.
As I did that, I realized I always have a tendency to be thinking ahead to the future and then feeling like I missed today. The novel though occurred to me to look back over my vacation and remember with pleasure the highlights of each day. I soon felt happy and cheerful and was able to enjoy the play. On the flight back to Boston I repeated the review of each day of my vacation, feeling more and more refreshed and satisfied. When the captain announced the approach to landing, I actually felt happy and ready to be home and go back to work! In fact, our colleague and spiritual director, Rabbi Terry Greenstein, called this a gratitude exercise, and recommends that we do this at the end of every day focusing on the positives of the day! I’ve been using the Rabbi’s daily gratitude exercise before bedtime and to my surprise, I have been having more pleasant dreams.
So use this gratitude exercise to hold on to the joy of your summer (feel free to review the highlights as many times as you want) and have just as enjoyable a fall.
Optional: Do a boundary tap to prevent worry about tomorrow from leaking into today.
At the end of each day (and/or week, etc.) look back and review the positive experiences. See what you were seeing, hear what you were hearing, smell what you were smelling, and especially feel the pleasure you were feeling.
* The boundary tap is performed by tapping on the sternum with the fingertips of one hand alternating with a feathering motion from the sternum up the base of the throat, up the neck, out the chin. The tapping seals the boundary, and the feathering motion ejects any negative energy that the client does not want to keep. Boundaries are typically sealed in 2-3 minutes.