Living in the moment. I’m actively pursuing this process. I’m amazed at how much of my life is geared to NOT living in this moment.
I find that at work I dig in and am so focused that I am not so much “alert” as I am driven. I have a goal/a purpose/a task and I push-push-push until it’s time to break out of my mental hyper-focus and regroup. I don’t know whether or not I would consider my work mode as living in the moment or not. I am very focused on whatever is in front of me, so perhaps? But most times when I stop my work mode, I have sort of a required adjustment time back to “reality”. It’s like I have to down-shift my thinking and it can be tangibly difficult. Lots of conscious breathing and relaxing back into my body.
But the area where I have the room for improvement is in my down time. My evenings are spent either as a spectator of someone else’s story (TV, movies, etc), or a constant stream of random input scrolling through various social media. Neither of these things keep me “present”. Writing, on the other hand, or sketching, both have a very “present” or aware/alert focus. Connecting with another person also is much better when you’re both in the now, just enjoying each other’s presence and conversation.
Both TV and social media are numbing tools for me. They’re usually paired with eating or drinking (post dinner). I think it’s time to find some new evening relaxation activities. Something that isn’t necessarily *active*, but doesn’t take me out of the here and now.
I’m super tired of politics. I’m super tired of watching Trump say something, then turn around and say “I never said that.” I cannot understand how this man got to be a presidential candidate. His behavior is something I’d reprimand my 11 year old for doing.
I read an article in Scientific American about a week ago that really resounded with me in answering the question of “Why is he the way he is?” There are a lot of answers out there – he’s a narcissist, he is greedy for power. But this one seems to cover all of the above. It explains the changing of his “beliefs” every time he turns around. It explains his language, and helps explain his motivations.
“In my estimation, Trump is driven by one thing and one thing only: the search for glory. Everything stems from this one simple fact, and everything falls into place in a predicable fashion once we fully understand the operation of this fundamentally human drive.”
– Donald Trump’s Real Ambition, by Scott Barry Kaufman, July 24, 2016 on The Scientific American blog.
It really went a long way in explaining why Trump is doing what he’s doing, but it does nothing to explain his supporters. I have yet to see someone support him who isn’t angry and/or fearful.
I’m really trying to “stay in the now” about all this, but I have to say, listening to Trump speak (which isn’t hard, he’s everywhere) makes me truly fearful for the future of our country. I am not a huge Hillary fan, but I believe she’s capable of preventing World War 3. Trump? Not so much.
In the meantime, I am going to continue living my life the best way I know how, and vote with my son in mind on November 8.
I had an inspiring conversation this morning at the Y after swimming. Not 24 hours after I post I don’t like to chit chat in the morning. It wasn’t chit chat actually. One of the regulars is this delightful elderly Asian woman. She hums and sings hymns in the shower room. She’s actually very good and, I have to say, it adds to the meditative tone of the morning.
This morning, however, she stopped and asked me what the meaning of the words were in a book title she saw recently. At first I misunderstood, but over the next 5 or 10 minutes, we worked through the language barrier and had a very interesting time exploring the meaning of the words “wander” vs. “wonder“.
She said “thank you” several times for the language lesson, but honestly, that was the best conversation I’d had with a near-stranger in a long time. Not only did it challenge my communication skills in a new way, it has brought back an old interest I had in maybe volunteering as a adult education tutor or even an ESL tutor in some fashion. That would be kind of cool. Really cool.
I love swimming. The meditative qualities are the best part. That whoosh of kicking off the wall under water, seeing just how far I can go before I come up for the air and the first strokes. The rhythm of it. But not too monotonous. Alternating strokes each lap keeps it different enough. Helps me keep track.
I am even beginning to love the early morning part. Well, making that first move to put a leg out of bed and onto the floor is super duper hard, but after that it’s not that bad. I’ve learned the night-before-prep is critical. After that it’s just movements.
I’m not a fan of early morning chit-chat. There are some who clot on the stairs down to the locker room having 5am conversations, but I am not one of them. I pleasantly greet the other regulars, but that’s it. Nod at the lifeguard and then start my meditation.
The best way I’ve found lately to figure out who I am, is to stay as best as I can in the current moment. Staying in the current moment means letting go of history (past Lundie), and not letting myself “borrow worry” from tomorrow (future Lundie).
This process requires a lot of attention. Attention to the here and now. It’s super hard for someone like me who lives a large portion of her life inside her head. This is my unattended brain:
So far, it’s been really exciting. Sort of like I’ve decided to just “wing it”, but with a little more groundedness and trust that I’ll figure it out one way or another. As I get more experienced in catching myself mentally wandering into the past, future, or other “not here” place, and re-centering, the more I am loving life. Right now is the only place I can do anything anyway, why would I want to escape it? As I said before, being mentally “not here” is the true “MO” of “FOMO”
So, that’s it for today. I’m getting to know my today self, and she’s pretty cool.