Recently I was reflecting on a time a decade ago when I was just getting sober. I attended recovery meetings, and the motto continues to resonate with me: One day at a time.
Back then, that motto was my mantra. It gave me such solace, because I didn’t know how I was going to stay clean and sober. It felt really overwhelming. That’s why the concept of staying in the day was such a relief.
Remembering to take things one day at a time helped me center into the fact that I didn’t have to think about how I was going to handle some get-together in a week, or a big function five months away, or the idea of not having a drink at my wedding one day.
All I had to do was keep it in the day. Today was my only concern.
I loved that time so much. There was so much innocence and peace then because I was able to keep it in the day, focusing on every small, individual action right down to down to brushing my teeth. Stay in the right now.
It was a really liberating feeling.
But after a while of living in the day, I realized that things had actually gotten pretty good. I got some recovery under my belt and “one day at a time” went right out the freakin’ window!
Instead of staying in the day, I started future tripping. I was living a month at a time, a year at a time or a project at a time.
Many of us can relate to this feeling. We move so fast that we can’t dwell in the day, much less the moment.
So today I want to talk about the concept of taking life one day at a time. This way of life doesn’t have to be reserved for those times when we’re in some kind of early recovery. We can use it every single day.
My hope is that you don’t just hit your knees in prayer when everything falls apart. I hope you hit your knees every morning and every night. Every day.
Because no matter how magnificent life can we, we still have the ego. The ego still wants to take us out of that present moment and future trip.
And when we’re taken out of the present, we lose our power.
So let’s all commit to taking things one day at a time, starting right now.
Here’s one way you can begin: Tomorrow morning, start your day with a vision of how you want that day to unfold. Picture yourself getting on the subway or in your car or on the bus, a smile on your face. Picture yourself entering your workplace ready to have a gracious experience and getting that work done you wanted to do. Imagine greeting your family or friends in the evening.
Hold this vision in the morning and remind yourself to stay in the day throughout the day.
And if a day is too much for you, keep it in the moment! That can be really profound.
Use this practice and know that it can bring you back right into that centered place — that feeling of power and presence, and knowing that today you have everything you need.
I hope this serves you.