Monday, February 6, 2012

Experiencing the Moment

Day 50 of 365 Tiny Changes

I like to read.  I read a lot.  I read all sorts of topics.  My favorites are mysteries and self actualization.

Notice I didn’t write self-help.  I don’t agree with this categorization of this type of book.  It’s a little condescending.  I’m not saying that I don’t need a little help with life now and again, because I do.  I am saying, I usually read this type of book looking for ideas or insight to life life a little better, not help, persay. 

I’ve read this type of book since I discovered them, sometime in the early 80’s.  This is one of the only types of books that I buy, because if I find the book has some good advise I like to be able to go back and re-read it for clarification or further insights.  With mystery books, once I know the ending, I always know the ending, so reading them more than once is less than suspenseful.

The books I’m reading now are somewhat esoteric.  More along the lines of true self and what not.  Most books I can read through pretty quickly, not this topic.  This topic requires some thinking breaks.  Time to allow the ideas to sink in.  It was on one of these thinking breaks that I had a thought.  It’s true.  A thought.  This thought is a thought I think is worth sharing.  So here it is.  If you’re ready...

We are living life way too fast. 

That’s it.  That’s my thought. 

So, because you’re in a hurray to get on with what ever you have to do next, you’re going to skip right over this thought, instead of taking the time to share it with me.  But, I’m going to ask you to slow down, and take the time to think about this with me, anyway.

Beyond the obvious of one minute managing, fast cars, and even faster food, we are living life way too fast.  When was the last time you thought about what your were doing?  I mean really thought about what you were doing, this very moment.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, living in the moment.  I’m willing to bet you think you do. You think that you live in this moment, and the next moment, and the next, and the next, and the next.  Until they all run together into one long, lived out, day.

THAT is why I’m going to change the phrase to “experiencing the moment”.  You’ll see the difference.  I promise.

Right now.  STOP.  Stop everything.  Stop reading, stop moving, stop thinking.  Close your eyes and feel.  Feel the pressure of your behind on your seat.  Feel the waist band of your pants on your hips.  Feel the weight of your ankle crossed over the top of the other one.  Feel everything.  Go on, do it.  Close your eyes and just feel.

Now, close your eyes and listen.  Listen to your breathe, going in and out.  Listen to the phone in the next cubicle, ringing.  Listen to the door in your department, opening and closing.  Listen to your co-workers chatting.  Just listen.  Don’t interpret.  Don’t eavesdrop.  Just listen.

Now, open your eyes and just look.  Look at your desk.  Look at your cubicle walls and the things you have posted there.  Look at the ceiling.  Look out the window,  if you can.  Just look.  Don’t think.  Just absorb, the colors, the shapes, the light, the dark.  Suck it all in.

This feeling, listening, looking, is what experiencing the moment is all about. 

This morning, I put on my shoes.  But this morning, I didn’t just put on my shoes.  This morning I experienced putting on my shoes.  I felt my toe find it’s well worn place inside my shoe.  I felt my heel slide in against the back of the shoe.  I felt the slight tickle on my upper foot, as I straightened the tongue.  I felt the pressure of the shoe laces tightening.  Then, I felt the laces sliding against the skin of my fingers as I tied them.  This morning, I truly experienced putting on my shoes. 

I discovered that this exercises has become so rote that the only time I “feel” it is when something hurts, like tightening the laces, too tight, or tying the laces with a cut on my finger.

So much in life has gotten so routine that I only stop to pay attention to it when it hurts.  How terribly sad.

There is so much to be enjoyed in life, yes, even putting on my shoes this morning can be enjoyed.  If I take the time to pay attention and experience the sensations.  The cool part about this is that it doesn’t really take any more time.

We can still life our life at 150 miles an hour, we just have to hone our awareness.  We just have to learn to pay attention to all of the little wonderful sensations that we feel every day and currently ignore.  What is the point of pushing forward to the next moment while skipping over the enjoyable sensations of this moment? 

I can’t get stuck here.  The likelihood of my enjoying the sensations of putting on my shoes so much that I put them on and take them off over and over again, and sort of get stuck there, are slim to none.  So, why not, pay attention when I do it and enjoy it while I am completing the task? 

This experiencing the sensations of the moment, can be a part of every part of the day.  I can feel the pressure of the keys against my finger tips as I type this.  When I receive a text message from someone, I can enjoy the feelings I get while reading the message, and the fleeting thought of, “Ain’t technology cool”, while I type my reply message.

Feeling sad and lonely?  Stop.  Feel the sensations of being alive, breathing, heart beating.  Listen to the hum of electricity, and the singing of the birds.  See the beauty that surrounds us.  Allow the feeling of becoming overwhelmed with the miracle that is life on this planet.

Tiny Change 50:  Hone my skills of experiencing the moment.

What experiences are you missing each and every moment of your life?

Best Regards,


Tiny Blessing of the Day:  I am blessed to have the sensory preceptor's to enhance my life.

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