An Exercise in Being in the Moment

Yesterday morning, after dropping the girls off at school, and on my usual walk to work, I tried a little experiment. Usually on the walk I’ve got my earphones in and music pumped. I have a friend that I often text with first thing in the morning. I’m basically distracted the entire way until I arrive at work, often *just* on time, if not a few minutes late. Yesterday morning was drizzly, grey and miserable, just the kind of morning I would especially want to distract myself from.

Yesterday the girls and I made it out the door earlier than normal, and after they were at school and I set off on my merry way, I made the conscious choice to stay tuned in to everything around me. No music. No texting. Nothing but me, the world around me, my thoughts and my morning walk.

I noticed everything along the way. The smell of the rain on the pavement. The sounds of the traffic and the raindrops tapping on my umbrella. The feel of the sprinkling rain on my face when the wind blew just the right way. I noticed everything — how my thoughts bounced around in my head, how I was feeling from moment to moment in response to those thoughts. A walking meditation, essentially.

I spend too much of my time distracting myself from the here and now. We all have our distractions – music, television, computers, our handy smartphones. I take too little time to tune into my own thoughts and feelings on a regular basis. This is something that I absolutely need to make a greater effort toward. What’s to gain by being unplugged from oneself so much of the time? What’s wrong with being checked in, with being alone with your thoughts and feelings? What are we all working so hard to distract ourselves from?

Yesterday as I arrived at work at the end of my experiment — earlier than usual — I felt calmer, more centred and more relaxed, ready to take on the day. Spending that time alone with myself, without the usual distractions, left me feeling refreshed and balanced.

Now the trick is to make this a part of my everyday life, and not just a once-in-forever kind of thing…

 

8 Responses

  1. Really interesting article. It is so true that we have so many distractions in our like like TV, Music, computers and Kindle.

  2. love love love your post.. This is something I am currently practicing at the moment. I do believe it gets easier.. It is hard – but totally worth it to make the effort. I look forward to reading your other posts!

    I’ve nominated you for the liebster award! Enjoy 🙂

    http://rayannsom.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/versatile-and-liebster-award/

    Rachel

  3. […] Sunshine on My Shoulder Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Category : Awards […]

  4. Wow. I ADORE this. Utterly adore it. What a great way to re-center and re-connect with yourself, your thoughts, your surroundings. I need to give this experiment a test run. I find I am CONSTANTLY “doing” — writing, reading, listening, talking, etc. but not really always as present as I should be while “doing.” Practicing stillness is what it comes down to, really.

  5. I do the SAME Thing! mutli-tasking, doing a zillion things rather than just one. I too would like to try this and see if I could stick to it. I bet it was a very zen feeling!

  6. I’ve been trying meditation more too. It’s amazing that it seems to make time go slower and makes the day seem brighter. Awesome experiment…. and I’m with you. To do this daily would change life exponentially!

  7. You’re totally right. First enjoy the here and now, it’s the most important thing there is. 🙂

  8. […] bit nicer than usual to put an extra spring in one’s step. I plan to enjoy my walk to work, to stay present and appreciate every moment of it. I’m going to grab a good coffee on the way into the office. I’ll sit at my desk […]

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