“Wherever You Are Be All There”
I don’t remember who said this or where I read it, but I will not forget it! I have become keenly aware of the challenge to focus ONLY on what is in front of me at the moment and guard my mind from wandering off to other thoughts, lists, tasks, problems. I am not always successful and feel the disappointment or “pull back” from people when I am not mindful of the situation or relationship. I have also felt hurt and disappointment when I am sharing an experience or a heart matter and a friend is staring up at a TV behind me or looking at their phone, or answers with something unrelated to what I said.
Recently, I have decided to slow down my pace a bit and savor the moments of work, rest, school and relationships. I found myself taking “big bites” out of life and trying to swallow them as fast as possible because I had a lot to digest. I was getting it all done, but then couldn't recall all the details I needed or put into practice the skills that I learned, and I was very tired. I am slowing down and choosing to take “smaller bites” out of life, noticing what I am “eating”. I breakdown my responsibilities and tasks. Consequently, I am able to use my knowledge more effectively, enjoy the process and surprisingly, have more energy. That is a bonus! I tell myself I will not get this moment back and live it to the fullest, even if it is making a spreadsheet! If I can do that, then I can sustain full eye and heart contact as my child, friend, or client share their heart about a challenge. I can keep in touch with my intuition and access skills to help support others in the way best suited for them.
In Positive Psychology we call this flow. It is defined as a state of intense absorption: “in the zone”. Focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity in the moment. Research even shows frequent flow correlates with: life satisfaction, achievement, better health and creativity. It can focus our energy and attention and create more self-regulation.
I have found there are certain activities I can practice flow very easily and others that I have to develop. It is very fun to see the reaction of others as I fully focus on them and am curious about what they are saying. Or when I am alone and doing an activity that needs energized focus, I am noticing the positive results of flow.
I realize how rare this tool is being used in our fast paced society. It is a simple tool, but a very powerful one. So today, where I am, I will be all there.
"This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it."