Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Owe Attention

It only takes a reminder to breathe,
a moment to be still, and just like that,
something in me settles, softens, makes
space for imperfection. The harsh voice
 of judgment drops to a whisper and I
remember again that life isn’t a relay
 race; that we will all cross the finish
line; that waking up to life is what we
were born for. As many times as I
 forget, catch myself charging forward
 without even knowing where I’m going,
that many times I can make the choice
 to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk
 slowly into the mystery.

- Walk Slowly, by Danna Faulds

"... catch myself charging forward without even knowing where I’m going." How true. I heard this poem today at a seminar on mindfulness that I had attended at work, and that was the one line that resonated the most with me. 

A lot of the time I (you, we maybe) start off excitedly with one or two bright ideas, and before long, a couple more pop up in my head and I go off on a frenzy trying to execute all at once. For the greed of wanting it all, or maybe even fear of missing out, there's a option called multitasking.

When I multitask, something suffers (scratch that: a number of things suffer.) Typically, the quality of my achievements is reduced from intentional outcomes to unimaginative checklist manifestos. When I am literally doing the most, I am dividing my attention and skimping on performance. Doing for the sake of doing. As Derek Sivers puts it, "when you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to really throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say “HELL YEAH!”  We’re all busy. We’ve all taken on too much. Saying yes to less is the way out." Going forward, I will remind myself that my model is first I am that I am, therefore I do. And when I charge blindly, I am operating in I do that I do mode.

Jon Kabat-Zinn describes mindfulness as "awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally." Non-judgmentally is a key part of the statement. These days, having a mindful practice has become important to me, and I'm glad I serendipitously found yoga. I want to be a mindful person - shifting, aligning and incorporating intentionality into my being. No perfection necessary, just intentionally living my legend without judgment.

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