How wonderfully made are we. Our brains manage multiple sources of incoming information and allow us to divide our attention among them. As a result we have learned to do several things simultaneously. This blog post will inspire you to draw your attention to one splendid subject... you!
All my best,
Theresa Miller, Ph.D.
Ever arrive home from the office and can't remember the drive? That phenomenon is called divided consciousness, the ability to perform more than one task at once. It's the reason you can eat while you follow the latest CSI episode, fold clothes while listening to your kindergartner describe her day, and it's why your teenager can study and listen to loud music at the same time. On the drive home from work you were engaged in the sophisticated mental and physical coordination it takes to maneuver your vehicle, while in your head you were telling off your boss, spending your ten million dollar lotto winnings, and reviving a romantic moment you once had with your high school sweetheart. Suddenly you were pulling into your garage.
Being able to multi-task is great, but when we divide our attention we can't give one hundred percent to any one thing. Eating while watching TV can lead to overeating, and you barely taste the food; you can do chores while you talk to your child, but it's harder to detect the nonverbal cues that reflect what she is really feeling; and the quality of your teenager's homework while he is listening to loud music...well, you know.
Divided consciousness can be useful, but some things are so important that they deserve our undivided attention. We live too much in our heads - regrets about the past or worries about the future, and it makes us miserable. This very moment is the only thing that is promised...it's all we have. Take time out of your busy day to notice that you are right here! Spend a moment with the spectacular YOU. Although millions have come before you and will come after you there has never been one just like you. Breathe in, breathe out and be in awe. Be quiet and detect the sensation of your heart beating. It's been doing that faithfully without your help since before you were born. Notice your eyes drinking in colors, shapes, the lids blinking at will, knowing just when they need moisture. Talk about a carbon footprint? Your actual footprint is a never-before-seen-and-never-will-be-seen-again bonifide miracle upon the earth. The uniqueness of your retina, the distinctive cellular structure of your hair, the singularity of your DNA is testimony to your undeniable perfection.
There is nothing random about you, and the experience you are having at this very moment has never come before and will never come again. Don't miss it. Take a break from the gazillion things that command your attention to sit and wonder at the absolute marvel that is you.
What distracting worry am I willing to give up, starting today?
Every day do a ten minute exercise in being present:
Wake up ten minutes earlier in the morning. Sit comfortably in a chair. Close your eyes and follow your breathing as it enters your nostrils and fills your lungs. Then follow it as it leaves your lungs and goes back out of your nostrils. Smile.
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Until next time...