Tuesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
I recently attended the Southeastern Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute (SUUSI). I gained many insights during the week at the conference, which I will share with you this week.
Have you ever finished eating a meal and realized you really have no recollection of the taste of what you just ate? Or perhaps you were washing dishes and have no recollection of actually doing the washing. Or maybe you get to work and realize you have no recollection of the drive?
In our modern lives, we hurry and scurry here and there, never fully present to what we are doing and what is going on around us.
As part of the intentional community at SUUSI, I saw people slow down and participate in events. For the first couple of days I was so tightly wound that I continued hurrying about, not really taking anything in except moving to the next activity. Around day three, though, I started to realize “SUUSI-time”, which is a slowing of time as I ceased the hurry and paid attention.
Paying attention is really what it’s all about. I’ve ranted about the evils of multi-tasking before,and I really believe that if I am going to relax and enjoy life, I need to be focused on what I am doing, and only what I am doing, as fully as possibly.
Being In the Moment
So how do you do this? By practicing techniques to be in the moment. Here are three ways to do this:
Turn Off The Electronic Distractions
Turn off the cell phone. Unplug the iPod. Put down the PDA or Blackberry. These three items have insinuated themselves into our lives, and pull our attention away from what is at hand. If you consciously choose to use them, great! Do that. But if you are choosing to enjoy a walk with the kids, or an evening under the stars, remove them from your person.
Leave “Fiddlers” Alone
I routinely travel with some piece of work – papers to be sorted, articles to be read, or a book of puzzles. By leaving those items at home, I am able to fully enjoy my time. Sure, I may choose to use these items, but I should not keep busy just because I can.
Pay Attention To Your Senses
When was the last time you registered the smells around you? How about the sounds? When did you last really taste your food? By paying attention to all of our senses, we enrich our experience and bring ourselves into the moment.
Make Conscious Choices
This is what it all boils down to: make conscious choices about what you are doing and experiencing at any one moment. When you choose to do something, experience it fully. Wash the dishes while feeling the water on your hands. Weed the garden listening to the birds and smelling the soil. Daydream if you choose…as long as that is what you choose.
Photo by victor_nuno