Squeezing the Steering Wheel, and Ignoring Our Lasagna
Learning How to be in the Moment
By Karen Eddington
Karen C. Eddington
It was a lovely dinner-cheesy lasagna, garlic bread, and a side salad. Why don't you remember eating it? Your mind was racing, thinking about the bills that are due, what you should have said differently, and what you next hair cut should be, to the point that you didn't even taste the tomato sauce.
When you were stopped at the traffic light, did you notice how tightly you were gripping the steering wheel, how you were holding your breath and the tension slowly laying a foundation of knots in your shoulders? Instead of dealing with the present and relaxing at the onset of these symptoms, you may have been thinking about the report that was due the next day, how you needed to stop for gas, and what to eat for lunch.
When we're at work, we think about home. When we're at home, we think about work. When we're eating a meal, it's not uncommon to be thinking about our to-do lists, the conversation we've had and will have, and what we might do in a natural disaster scenario.
When was the last time you paid attention to the present, where you experienced moment after moment, without judgment?
Mindfulness is being able to accept the present. It's about taking your current thoughts and feelings and experiencing them without being self-critical, without letting the present get pushed away or overpowered. Pay attention to the present, on purpose. By being in a state of current awareness, you can recognize thoughts, feelings, and sensations while letting go of your tendencies to be indifferent to what is currently happening around you.
Being in the moment is not just stopping to smell the lilacs or taking a minute to look at the clouds. It is a deep centeredness, mental control, and focus which allows you to experience what is happening right now versus mentally trying to do it all, all the time. Being in the moment is not the same as appreciating a sunrise; it's maintaining power of mind and developing self-control in your daily life.
The following is an excerpt from the personal workbook: "I Know Who I am: Understanding Vital Elements of Self-Worth by Karen C. Eddington