The New York Optimist
March 2009
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The Winter Fun Never Stops
A Public Service Announcment By Feature Writer, Ellie
“If You Want Control of Your Life, Live In The Present!”

By: Nina

This moment, right now that you are reading this article is a moment in time that you have control of.  This day can be a
great day if you choose to make it so!  The present is a most precious gift that we seem to take for granted.  We tend to
spend most of our time ruminating about things that have already happened in the past and worrying about how things will be
in the future.  You are giving the present moment away by spending it in the past or the future.  This moment right now is all
that is real and you have control of it.  How are you going to spend it?  Make a decision to make this moment a good one.  
Do something that makes you happy or fills your soul.  If you don’t know what to do for yourself, then do something good
for someone else.  There is always someone who could use a kind word, a card in the mail an ear to listen to them or
anything else you can give.  

Choose to be here now in this moment on this day and you are taking a step toward controlling your life.  Each moment you
choose to be a part of will make you stronger and bring you closer toward living your life in a more fulfilling way.  Just try it
as an experiment and see if it makes you feel happier, stronger and more in control or not.  If you like it, perhaps you can try
it again tomorrow and the next day and before you know it, you are truly enjoying your life as a co-creator of each day.

We cannot control everything; things happen, but we do have control over our reaction to what happens.  Let me share my
most recent experience: Friday is always a special day for my son and I; we go to Gymboree, the park, we get pizza and ice-
cream.  This past Friday, as we were getting in the car to leave the Gymboree parking lot, I saw the car next to me had
scraped the whole side of my car and there were three lines of red paint from the front to the back of my car.  I went inside
to tell the manager and the man whose car it was denied doing it and was then nasty and disrespectful to me.  Another man
who did charity work for this building happened to be there on this day and spent two hours gently rubbing compound into
the side of my car to remove all traces of the red paint.  The police were called and when they arrived two hours later just as
this good man finished compounding my car I told them I would not file a report against this nasty man.  Initially, I was
terribly offended by this man’s rude manner, unwillingness to take responsibility for his actions and such, however, I was
more overwhelmed by the goodness of this other man and chose to focus on that as the reason for this experience.  I left the
parking lot and went on to enjoy the day with my son, rather than letting this nasty man’s actions ruin my day.   It was a
choice I made because I wanted to be happy, rather than unhappy.  

Every day, you must make a choice, do you want to be happy or unhappy today?  Create happy moments and be there for
each moment.  If something unpleasant happens, acknowledge it, look for whatever lesson you might be presented with and
move on.  Let it go and make the next moment a happy one.  This is the best way to begin living a happy, more controlled
life.  It will take practice because most of us are not accustomed to thinking this way, but after some practice, it will become
easier and easier.  Choose to be happy and live in the present.

Nina Mistier is a Holistic Counselor, Yoga Instructor, College Instructor and mother who holds a Master of Science degree in
Counseling Psychology, Counseling Supervision, Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Yoga Certification and studies Energy
Psychology, Positive Psychology, Nutritional Studies and Holistic Healing.