I’m one of the many people, Gainfully Unemployed or not, who often spend much of our days thinking and worrying about what we will be doing later or have done in the past. We don’t focus enough on or appreciate enough what we’re actually doing right now. At this very moment.
Wonder why you can’t remember if you left the iron on or if you locked the door? Because you were thinking about where you were going and operating on autopilot instead of paying attention to each task you completed. Even if we’re talking on the phone with a friend, my guess is that many of us aren’t giving complete focus to what the friend is saying in particular, or the conversation in general. We’re thinking, “Can’t forget to pick up Susie at school in an hour,” or we go so far as to surf the Web or check e-mail.
A friend of mine recommended the book, The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. One of his main suggestions is that each of us listen without judging to the ruminating voice in our heads. Once we can “be aware not only of the thought but yourself as a witness to the thought,” Tolle says “a new dimension of consciousness has come in” and “the thought loses its power over you and quickly subsides because you are no longer energizing the mind through identification with it.”
Supposedly we will be less stressed and more fulfilled if we are truly present. Many who promote living in the moment recommend actively noticing every detail of what is happening to you right now. What exactly are you doing, what sensations are you experiencing, what sounds do you hear?
Things I’m going to try to see if I can feel more present:
1) When I’m on the phone, just be on the phone so I can participate fully in the conversation. Not clean my condo or fold laundry, which is what I usually do.
2) Observe rather than dwell on ruminations, then let them go.
3) Focus on the specifics of what is happening right now.