Monday, July 16, 2007

In the Moment

I'm the kind of person who's mind wanders easily. So much so that I'll often walk into a room and wonder what on earth I was coming to get. Between leaving wherever I started from and getting to my destination, my mind will have travelled through half a dozen topics and recalling the reason I was walking to another room is all but impossible. LOL.

My DH often refrains from asking me what I'm thinking these days. One day when he asked "what are you thinking about?" I actually told him and he just laughed. My mind had skipped through a dozen or so thoughts (on different topics) in the space of about a minute. Mostly I find it hard to recall exactly what I've been thinking about and how I arrived at those topics but on this occasion I was able to follow the thought processes through from start to finish. I think it made him kinda glad he doesn't have to live with my brain. :-)

I've been doing some reading on relaxation and meditation and they say that you need to train your mind to be still. I must have a very undisciplined mind I think. :-)

So I've decided that I need to give my brain some practise at *not thinking*. Actually, I've kind of started a step back from that and I'm trying to be more focused on whatever it is that is happening (or not happening) at the time. How often do we do things on automatic pilot while our minds are racing a mile a minute thinking about something else?

Given I was pondering all of this while soaking in the bath tub the other day, I chose drying myself to start this new habit. I tend to get out of the bath or shower and while I'm drying myself I'm always thinking about what needs to be done next or what's happening the next day or going over a conversation I've recently had in my head. All sorts of thoughts will pass through my head, not one of them related to the task of drying myself.

So for the past few days I've been attempting to focus on drying myself and not think about anything else. Believe me, it's a lot harder than it sounds. I think it's going to take me some time before it becomes a habit. It's well worth it though. Really paying attention to how nice it feels to rub a towel over yourself. Usually I hardly notice. Smiling at my pink toenails - or noticing they need cutting or polishing. LOL. Taking a few extra seconds to dry myself rather than rushing through the process. Just allowing myself to be fully, 100%, in that particular moment.

It's such a simple thing to change and yet I really feel like I'm embarking on a significant step here. The process of living in the moment. I don't know if it's simple living, conscious living, slower living or what it is that you might call the path I'm heading down right now. Not that I think a "title" is necessary.

I'm just concerned that I get so busy trying to cram as much as I can into my life that I'm forgetting to actually *live* it.


Kez said...

I struggle with the same thing a lot Jodi. I find it hard to 'switch' off from one thing to another - esp work - I'll pick Billy up from preschool and rather than focusing on that my mind is still thinking about work issues. I'm trying - but not succeeding much :(

Anonymous said...

Ahh yes this is something that I'm working on also. I recently did a meditation workshop where we did 5 minute meditations and the thing that I got most from the day was that focusing on the task you are doing is meditation. Only see when seeing, only listen when listening, only feel when feeling, you get the picture? So now I'm trying to do that in my everyday life and you know what it does make a difference, obviously not as relaxing as totally tuning out and focusing inward but much less stressful that have a head space that is half a day or more in front of reality. I'm noticing so much more and finding I actually have more time in my days.


Chickee said...

Great post Jodi - it is something I have reading a bit about lately but not properly applying, except when I am doing my yoga. Doing it when drying yorself is a great idea!
I usually find my mind is buzzing with so many things and I think focusing like this during everyday tasks might help me stress down a bit..... I hope, anyway ;-)


lightening said...

Kez - I think we both have to just keep trying. :-) Hopefully we'll eventually get there with it (or at least make some progress)

Lenny - great thoughts there. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It's great the way you're finding more time.

Heidi - yoga is great isn't it. I don't do it near as often as I would like to. Hopefully I'll improve in that area too.