What are you thinking about…right now?
Are you focused on the words you’re reading, or is your mind wandering…thinking of things that need to be done, calls to be made, groceries to be bought, things to be fixed…
Is your mind in this moment? If not, you’re missing what’s happening and what you’re experiencing now. When we allow our thoughts to be forecasting the future or dwelling on done-and-gone pasts, we completely miss the moment that is.
How many times have you caught yourself thinking of things totally unrelated to the task at hand? So much so that you actually can’t remember what you were doing, and what it felt like.
In the words of John Lennon: “Life’s what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
Or in the words of Mark Twain: “I’ve had many troubles in my life, most of which never happened.”
When our mind overflows with plans, not presence, or imagined troubles, we rob ourselves of living the moment.
Perhaps you think that it’s all OK because you’re a master of multi-tasking. But multitasking, like life balance, is a myth. John Medina, author of “Brain Rules” says: “To put it bluntly, research shows that we can’t multitask. We are biologically incapable of processing attention-rich inputs simultaneously.”
So to help you become more “in the moment aware”, here are a few things you can do. I call them “In The Moments”.
The cup of coffee moment – The next time you’re preparing your morning cup of coffee, slow down. Smell the aroma of the beans or grounds. Appreciate the cool fresh water as you fill the pot. Feel your body stretch as you reach for your favourite mug or cup. Pick a lovely spoon to stir. Envelope the cup with your hands and savour the flavour.
The washing hands moment – See and feel the water running over your hands. Pick a special soap and watch the bubbles and lather. Feel the change in texture as the soap foams up from slick, unseen coating to creamy, foamy suds. Appreciate the scent and feel. Watch your hands as they move, and really observe what they look like. As you dry them on a towel, stay focused on the drying and nothing else.
The online moment –Focus on what is in front of you, one page at a time. No flitting from page to page while answering a phone call, eating a sandwich and mentally creating a to-do list that never gets tuh-dun. Fully absorb what you’re reading. Like a good meal, start, finish and digest it in one sitting.
The meal time moment – Prepare your meal with full attention to the colours, textures and sounds of chopping, slicing, boiling, stirring. Slow down. Pick a beautiful plate. Sit down to eat. Do not read. Be aware of the taste and texture of the food. Chew slowly. Close your eyes occasionally to truly taste. Sit tall. Give thanks.
The every moment –In each living, breathing moment there is opportunity to expand our awareness of it, use our senses, and give ourselves the present of presence. When our mind is not where our moment is at, we are thieves of our own life. When we sacrifice our attention to the future or past, while ignoring what is happening now, we miss life as it’s happening.
This moment is the only one we have…and then poof, it’s gone.
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