Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fully Present

How many things can you think about at once? Think about that for just a second. For me, it's a lot. At any given moment in the day I would estimate that I have 5 or more things going on upstairs. And today I'd like to explore this a little further.

On Monday we talked a bit about balance and doing what is needed to create balance in our lives. I referenced Kendra from Voice in Recovery saying, "I was being an active participant in my life." I have been thinking about what that means. What does it mean to be participating?

So the other morning I was:
~ eating breakfast,
~ feeding my son,
~ thinking about:
     ~ this blog,
     ~ the painting that needs done,
     ~ exercise,
     ~ taking dinner to the neighbors that night,
     ~ homemade bread,
     ~ Ammon (I think about my husband a lot during the day),
     ~ Cormac needed a bath,
     ~ when was the last time I vacuumed,
     ~ this floor is nasty, I have got to mop.

While all of these things were running through my mind I realized that Cormac was cracking up. We were sharing a bowl of oatmeal. I'd take a bite and then I'd give him a bite. Without even thinking about it (surprise) I had started making the spoon dance before I'd give him his bite, and he thought it was funny. And I realized, that because my mind was off and running I nearly missed this moment to connect with my son. I was so busy thinking about stuff that hadn't even happened yet that I wasn't fully present. I wasn't actively participating in my life; I was letting it run on without me.

Okay, I know what you may be thinking, "But if I don't think about my 'to-do' nothing will ever get done." I agree. There is a definite need to think and plan ahead. But I have this sneaking suspicion that many of us (me) spend so much time thinking about the future and the "to-do" that we often let whole days pass us by without a single moment where we are fully present.

Buddha was once asked: “What are the teachings of you and your disciples”? He answered: ”We walk, sit and eat." The man who asked the questioned was confused: “But so do I”, he said. The Buddha answered him: “Yes, but when we walk, we know that we walk, and when we sit we know that we sit, and when we eat we know that we eat”
This is to be fully present – the concept of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the art of living right in the centre between future and past – in the present.
It is when body and mind are synchronized
Full presence replaces automatic perceptions of situations with actual experience of the moment.
Being healthy, being well, involves more than eating well. It involves the entire balance of mind, body, and spirit. Being fully present in our daily lives allows us to be active participants in that life. Being fully present allows us to create relationships and bonds that are special. Being fully present allows us to create memories. And being fully present allows us to be happy.
Today try to spend a little time fully present. You may have a chance to experience something that you otherwise would have missed.

P.S. I'm getting rather fond of the P.S. you may have noticed. There is still time to weigh in on your favorite picture.