Breaking Up with the “Moment Fairy” for a Happier, Healthier Summer

As we head into summer, vacation planning, and all the fun this season can bring, I wanted to introduce you to one of my favorite concepts. Its name is “the Moment Fairy” and I admit, it has spoiled more than one of my best laid plans over the years. It is my hope that if I teach you about it, it will be less likely to mess with our summer fun.

The “Moment Fairy” is really just the internal perfectionistic/controlling influence so many of us have when we make plans. It does a great job of helping us think through what could be, how wonderful a situation might turn out, or just how fantastic that summer vacation will be. However, its weakness is that it is also very stubborn about letting go of that vision when things don’t turn out exactly as planned (which of course, is often).

The Moment Fairy doesn’t like to be “present”, instead, it likes things to be “perfect.” Let’s see if we can set ourselves free of this influence for a healthier, happier, more flexible summer.

Tips for Breaking Up with the Moment Fairy

Ask Yourself, “What’s the Goal Here?”: I know this may sound overly simple, but it’s effective. The moment fairy gains leverage when we’re so excited about or consumed by our experience of an anticipated moment that we don’t stop to really think about some of the realistic details or needs. If we can pause, even briefly, and ask ourselves what the goal of the experience is, we are more likely to remember that even an altered experience can become a great experience; or a difficult experience can become a learning experience.

Attend to Basic Needs: This one is tied to our most primal needs. Because life rarely goes exactly as planned, we can help ourselves be more flexible and present by taking care of ourselves. When you are headed into something that is a big emotional moment, try your best to get some sleep, be comfortable in your clothes, and have some snacks on hand. The moment fairy is far less likely to get us frustrated if we aren’t sleepy, itchy, or “hangry.”

Identify Your Weak Spots: The moment fairy targets all of us in different ways. But it especially tends to go after us in areas of tradition, sentiment, and/or insecurity. For me, it usually shows up when I really want to create a special moment for someone else or, if I feel like my competence is being judged by how a situation is going. If we can see it coming and say, “Not today moment fairy, I’m going to be open to however this develops” it usually backs off.

Expose the Lie: This is the heart of it. The moment fairy gets its power from tricking you into thinking that whatever you plan is better than what may come. Many times, the moments that organically develop during summer fun are far better than anything I would have planned. We must remind ourselves that if we take care of the little things the moments will often come to our open, welcoming hearts.

So, there you go folks. Finally, a name to give to that over-controlling, emotional-event-leading, ever-disappointing influence. The moment fairy has tempted me far too many times and, I am determined to stop it in its tracks this year. The most beautiful moments I have ever experienced are ones I did not plan and certainly did not see coming. Let’s give that a try.

Adios moment fairy, and good riddance.

“When we intentionally fight off worshiping the ideal, we are much more available to enjoy the beauty that remains.” ~ Anne Rulo

June 21, 2021. By Anne Rulo, Author, Speaker, Therapist. FB/IG/Twitter @annemrulo

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