Celebrating The NowDec 02, 2021 06:00AM ● By Natasha (Chef Beee) Brewley, Ph.D, MBA, HHC
I visited some of my extended family in Washington, D.C. recently, people I had not seen for almost two years due to the pandemic. My husband and I had been invited to a birthday party for a beloved godmother-like family friend that was celebrating a milestone 75th birthday. When we first got word about it, we wondered if it would be safe and if we should go, but our reluctance quickly dissolved when we found out the event would be outdoors. We knew we wanted to be present for her special day. After all, she was a person that showed up for others, making them feel special and valued. It was only appropriate for us to show up for her and return the gesture. As we packed our bags for the short, impromptu out-of-town trip, we were absolutely giddy. It would give us some time to connect and get away from our everyday hustle and bustle—just the two of us.
When we arrived, I realized I had underestimated how much I had missed interacting with people. There we were, face to face, live and in person, lamenting that we had not laid physical eyes on any of these people for almost two years. If you ask me, virtual parties on devices, while necessary and convenient during these times, don’t have the same effect as connecting in flesh and bone. If I couldn’t be physically present, it felt pointless. And I wouldn’t have even considered going to a gathering of more than ten people, much less flying to another city to attend an event. Something was shifting in me, and I knew that had to be present to understand it. More than ever, it was important to see and spend time with people again in real and authentic ways.
Spiritual teachers like Eckhart Tolle write about what being in the present moment offers us. It allows us to be still and be grateful for all the people and things we have in our lives right in this moment. Being in the now offers us more quality of life, more connection and more love. Living and celebrating in the now offers freedom from fear, regret, suffering, stigma and anxiety from the unknown. The moment-by-moment journey becomes the destination—with deep appreciation for everyone and everything that crosses one’s path. It also offers a deeper sense of connection to everything and to all that we do.
I felt a shift in my sense of urgency. I felt an urgency to stand in the now and celebrate every moment of it with no fear and no regret. I felt an urgency to not take anyone or thing for granted because tomorrow is not promised. I have more intention to recognize who and what matters to me the most—and a desire to demonstrate it by showing up. In the past, I might have had fleeting thoughts of people but wouldn’t immediately see how they were doing or even ask if they needed anything. It wasn’t selfishness exactly; it was an assumption that there was unlimited time to get to it. I figured I would get around to it when it was more convenient.
I feel completely different about it now. With the tremendous loss in the world these past two years, I find myself needing to celebrate the people I know and love. Now. It is crucial for me to not delay calling, checking in or talking to anyone. So, now, when someone comes across my mind, I reach out with urgency and a sense of eagerness to connect immediately—like nothing else matters. Whether I know someone loosely or deeply, I urgently seek to create a live connection with them.
My recommendation? Celebrate the Now. As you go to your gatherings with friends and family during this holiday season, remember not to wait. Don’t wait to tell that funny story. Don’t wait to check in. Don’t wait to say I love you. Don’t wait to schedule a lunch date. Celebrate each and every moment that you can as if everything depends on it. When you approach life with this fervor, both the people you connect with and the things you do will become more luminescent. ❧
Dr. Natasha Brewley, better known as Chef Beee, is a lifestyle medicine health coach, a raw and plant-based chef educator and author of the cookbook, Let Plants Nourish You. For more information, visit ChefBeee.com or find @IAmChefBeee on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram.