Recently I had a friend tell me that “I was really in the groove of life.” That made me feel really good, and then I got to thinking…what does it mean to be “in the groove” in life and how did I get there?
For me, being in the groove means a heightened level of mindfulness (being present and self aware in every moment), genuinely caring for others more than I care for myself, and a right ordering of priorities in which I work to live and live to the fullest possible. By no means am I 100% in each of these areas (Michael Jordan still missed some shots when he was in ‘the zone’). I still yell at my kids, skip workout days when I shouldn’t, eat or drink to excess on occasion, act insensitively to my wife’s feelings, and forget to call friends back. However, I do tangibly sense an awareness when these things happen and I consciously act to repair my mistakes. The simple recognition of these mistakes and working to be more mindful makes me feel better mentally and physically, makes my family happier, and improves my overall well being. It is because of that awareness that I can recognize that I’m slipping out of the groove and I can do tangible things to get back.
So, how did I get there? The answer is pretty simple but the solution was complex. Friends got me there. Friends who told me I didn’t seem like myself and had started to let other people and their opinion of me dictate how I was acting on a day to day basis. I am so grateful to those friends for having the courage to tell me that. I decided it wasn’t going to be that way anymore, but as I said, the solution was complex and I didn’t really know what to do. Again, friends helped. On a fall morning, sitting on the deck sipping coffee looking at the serene view above, a friend asked me “have you ever thought about all of the JUNK that clutters your mind and messes you up?” I had not, but for the next 2 hours we had one of the most meaningful conversations of my life – it was all about mindfulness.
Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the RENEWING of your mind.” Nearly every day since that fall morning at the lake I have been renewing my mind and trying not to conform to the world. As a result, I’m in the groove of life and I’ve never felt better.