In these busy days of ours, we all have a lot on our plates... families, jobs, gym memberships, growing children and their growing families, appointments, hobbies, aging parents
AND the pursuit of happiness... It has become the norm to multi-task and attempt to get as much done as possible in each day, while maintaining some semblance of a healthy, emotionally and spiritually balanced life... and THAT is no small feat my friend.
I am certain that I am not alone in my admission that multi-tasking has been a bit of an obsession for me... however, in my defense, I must also say that back when I was growing up, the role models that I looked up to were the women who were bringing home the bacon, frying it up in a pan and never, ever letting their husbands forget they're a man...or something like that.
Then as I got older, what started as a natural tendency for a young wife and mother to have the perceived super human quality of being able to cook a Thanksgiving dinner while doing 3 loads of laundry, changing multiple diapers and managing sparkling conversation with her dinner guests, has now translated into an entrepreneurs empty nester version of that , but... without the diapers.
Many of us feel that in order to succeed, we have to be everywhere all at once...
on Facebook being seen and liked... Pinning our every favorite thing... Tweeting with the best of them and connecting with future business partners or employers on Linked in... OR hanging out in Google plus... all while trying to get our work done...but, what ends up happening to us is that we lose the ability to do one thing at a time, effectively and consciously. Enter the (desperate) need for MEDITATION...
Psychologist, and spiritual teacher Dr. Joan Borysenko explains that the true act of meditating is actually the art of intentional concentration on one thing only for a period of time, and it can either be spiritual or secular. Even the simple act of planting flowers in the garden or cooking a great meal can offer us the opportunity to bring our full attention to the task at hand and slow our minds and hearts enough to allow a mini-meditation of the soul to take place. And many spiritual leaders believe that this is the state of mind where creativity blossoms and great ideas are born, and that this is where the body's natural healing is able to take place. Thankfully, it doesn't have to take 20 minutes or an hour to get there.
Although traditional meditation can be hugely beneficial within the longer forms of deep dive transcendence , maybe just taking a step back from our tasks to be truly conscious of what we ARE doing will help us to begin to see the benefits of mindfulness as a bridge to meditation.
Have you ever found yourself typing an email to someone while you were on the phone to someone else? Or have you ever been having a conversation with someone, while making a grocery list in your head? Do you fall prey to what a friend of mine calls chronic phone separation anxiety...? ( which translates to the obsessive need to be attached to your phone at every moment...or withdrawal symptoms occur...)
If so, I would like to suggest a different approach...
Try picking ONE thing that you can put your full attention on each day...even just for a few minutes. Then turn off the auto-pilot switch and allow yourself to step fully and completely into your own body. Present and accounted for...
It doesn't have to be anything big to start off...it can be something as simple as driving to work without your phone or radio on and actually intentionally SEEING where you are going on the way....or reading a story to your toddler and REALLY getting into character and losing yourself in the moment...
We all know how good that feels, but sometimes we just forget. And THEN, when you say Goodnight Moon...and you ARE there in that moment and your child's face lights up like a Christmas tree...maybe... maybe something wonderfully simple and transcendent HAS just happened to you and you are gently nudged into a lovely consciousness...meditation accomplished.
I know for sure that these small mindful actions in time, will help to build the mental and emotional muscle we need to open the door to a deeper level of meditation, if that is the goal. But, if that's just not your cup of tea... take solace in the fact that meditation can happen anytime, and anywhere we choose... as long as we can be wholly present and take pleasure in whatever has our full and undivided attention. :)
( That's a tweetable!)
With light and love and MY undivided attention,
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