Life, in the eon of multi-tasking, has become an art. The ability to have our attention spread wide and keep up is what breeds success in this world of do… do… do. And here we are struggling on the inside, dropping balls. Taking pills to keep our nerves and worries away.
The sea of incoming information and possibilities grow exponentially in every direction. We struggle to sift through it all and make choices around how best to divide up our attention.
And then there’s worry.
We worry about the past… We worry about the future… We worry about ourselves… and after that we find the time and energy to worry about everyone else. I love the story about the student who approaches his teacher, a yogi, and declared that he was worried about him. He hadn’t eaten in awhile. The yogi replied… “Please don’t.”
We worry and wear it as a badge of honor.
Worry often takes us into a state of indecision. We get caught up in the wake of the “What if’s”… Nothing happens here. We vacillate back and forth. Decisions become impossible.
Most often no choice is the biggest choice you will ever make! –And that is if we are stepping into the moment free of leftovers. Many of us have experiences, the remnants of old hurts or indiscretions, that we have hidden away, way down deep in our bodies with the hopes that we will never have to look at them again.
It takes such an enormous amount of energy to hold the leftovers at bay.
And then there are the stories… We have the stories woven around truths of past experience, stories projecting out into the future. And sometimes the stories of the past get tangled up with the future and the now. Soon we don’t know where to step. Walking in our stories is like walking on a tightrope. The only lines that can hold your weight are the ones woven from truth. The others disintegrate quickly. Our stories, or our expectations, come from our need to control the future or rewrite the past.
That, my friends, is a full-time job, in and of itself.
Is This Mine?
And then on top of all of that, some have the issue of being an antenna and picking up information from others and processing it as if it were their own. This is a very confusing place. To be standing in an energy of happy in one second and thrust into the energy of distrust, or sadness, or anger in the next. These sudden shifts in emotion leaves us in a place of distrust and doubt… in ourselves and in our sanity.
They say that the average brain takes in 200 billion bits of information per second while the average human has the ability to open only 40 bits. That makes me feel anxious just to say it! It is as if we get 200 billion emails every second and they are piling up all around us.
We need desperately to be able to process more information!
So moving this over into the performance of our computer… We are struggling to operate with a dated processing system. It is like trying to install the newest version of Windows on an old relic of a computer. We need an upgrade…
Some of us have gotten the upgrade but don’t really know how to maneuver the new programs yet. Some didn’t know about the upgrade and are just drowning in the information. Others are trying to ignore the upgrade and haven’t installed it. They are hoping that they can carry on status quo and are bumping up against obstacles at every turn. Any way we turn, we are in struggle.
The commonality in each of these scenarios is our attention is anywhere but here in the present.
Buddha taught that the source of suffering is our attempt to escape from our direct experience… what is happening right here and right now! Freedom comes in our being present!
In all of the stress and all of the worry… We are missing it!
Regaining our power comes with mastering the art of Mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation.
Mindfulness can be brought to many of our daily activities. Folding the laundry, Cleaning up the kitchen… One of my favorites is working in the garden. With our mind completely embedded in a rote activity, as if it were a mantra, takes us right into the meditative state and trains us in being present for more spontaneous experiences. I especially like the garden because you are interacting with the magic of nature and sifting through the grounding earth all at the same time. I like to think that the only thing out of sync in nature is you. (We are the only creatures on the planet that have to read books on how to be present… or how to love each other… or how to feed ourselves or our children) So go for a walk, play in the dirt, play in a creek, hug your dog… Hug a tree! (Pssst… Leave your phone in the car.)
Sitting mindful meditation often utilizes a mantra, with the purpose of slowing our mind and anchoring our senses in our bodies. This is very effective in removing the clutter, filing information away for easy access later.
Adding self rooting foods such as beets, carrots, potatoes, and garlic, are grounding and root chakra supporting. Supporting the root chakra is essential in being here and present. With our feet firmly on the ground, we gain discernment around what needs our attention and what can be released.
And please don’t forget the laughter.
Being mindful of what we are bringing into our environment, our TV, our music is a must. Laughter changes the molecules in our bodies. So laugh!
Being mindful brings us into integrity. We are fully aware and present to our choices. In this space what we think, what we say and what we do are in alignment. All masks are brushed aside.
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