Today I missed an exit – an exit I have turned off about 500 times. Why? Because my mind was on…the next thing…then the next thing…then the next thing after that. Despite preaching (and practicing) mindfulness, I still find myself rushing around and not being present in the moment. On any given day, I might have entire conversations with my husband or children where I am not attentive to what they are saying because I’m so preoccupied with something in my own life. Many of us talk about how precious our time is with our friends and family. But often we aren’t even enjoying our moments with them because our thoughts are elsewhere. In fact, even as I write this blog, I catch myself thinking about what I have to do next, how people will react to this article and what I’m going to write about next week. When I go to these mental places, I must remind myself that not staying present is NOT HELPFUL and that it is not a substitute for careful planning and intentional action.
Getting yourself to the present moment
In an early blog post, I wrote about taking one bite at a time. This is a form of eating that focuses you on the present moment. Have you been working on that? If not…START NOW. It is really amazing. And, what about doing this with your other tasks – taking one MOMENT at time, savoring each moment in the present rather than focusing on what’s next or on the end result.
How to do it
- Pick something you do each day (like driving, brushing your teeth, reading the paper, conversing with someone)
- Take a deep breath and decide to PURPOSELY give full attention to whatever you are doing for entire time you are doing it
- If you get off track just catch yourself and gently re-set your mind to the present moment
Let me know how it goes.