When is the last time you were in a parade? Like actually in the parade itself? Marching down the street smiling and waving at the crowds along the route as you enjoy the music of the marching band…
For us it was last weekend on the South Side of Chicago at the South Side Irish Parade. As we marched down the streets – side by side with our comrades from the Chicago Fire Department Pipe Band – many of us thought to ourselves – “life needs to be more like a big parade!”
You see when you are in a parade like that it is impossible not to be totally present in the moment. Not just physically present, but mentally as well. You are focused on your surroundings, enjoying the view and smiling and taking in the faces of those around you. You are fully present in the moment to totally appreciate it in every aspect. So often in life we are physically present for things but our minds are racing a million other places and worrying about a million other things – we end up mentally somewhere completely different then our physical body is at any given moment. It’s like we are constantly disconnected from ourselves. When we allow that to happen we literally miss the actual moments we are living in because we were mentally somewhere else. That is why we have decided we each need to live in our very own parade. We need to walk through each day as if it is our parade route, smiling and waving to those faces we pass by. We need to be present, both physically present and mentally present. We need to focus on each moment and appreciate each step along our own parade route. We need to hear the music of the pipes and drums in the air and have that spring in our step as we walk along the route. We need to enjoy each segment of our life parade. Laugh. Smile. Wave to everyone (wrist, wrist, elbow, elbow – you gotta do the proper parade wave!). Skip along. Dance at times. March to the beat of the drum. Throw candy to the crowd. Make them happy. Be happy yourself. Don’t worry about what’s ahead in your parade route – know that it’s just more excited people waiting for you to pass by them so there is no need to be concerned, just focus on what’s around you in that moment! This is your BIG PARADE — ENJOY IT.
Have a great week everyone! And go live in your parade!!!
From Amy Rees Anderson