: Balance of Now
I had lunch with a friend today who told me that she appreciates how present I am when we are together and that she is practicing doing this more with herself. Later I was thinking about the process of learning to be present. I clearly started doing this work so I could learn how to get my own undivided attention. Believe me I used to be one of the more distracted people I knew.
I remember one day years ago saying to my significant other...I just want more time with you. I immediately heard that as a plea coming from inside me for more of my own attention. It really didn't have anything to do with time.
People who keep asking to have more time with you (spouses for instance) are really not asking for anything other than your undivided attention. I recently had opportunities to coach people in relationship on how to create more balance within the relationship. One client's wife was complaining about not having enough time with her husband. While we were working, I noticed when he spoke to her that he wasn't really 100% with her because he was simultaneously looking at his email. I suggested to him that his wife was only asking for his undivided attention. I suggested that each day while on the road, if he would be willing to call her and be with her with his full attention for just five minutes, it would shift the discord. He tried it and it worked so well he continues to do it. Sometimes only five minutes of our partner's undivided attention will carry us through a whole day.
In my experience it is all about presence and connection.
I am learning that balance truly lies in having my undivided attention present in this moment. With my full attention I can create what seems like endless time. For instance if I try and hurry through my email, it takes longer.
I was with a client yesterday who was trying to speak to her colleague and type an email at the same time. I told her she could either keep going with the email or turn around and speak only with her colleague, but not both. We all laughed. Then I observed that the communication between them became clear and focused and was completed quite easily and in less time than having one's attention split.
People keep saying they feel overwhelmed by how much they have to do. But overwhelm can not reside in the moment. The key is in gathering our attention into this moment. It's a process and it might take repeated efforts to get it down as a habit.
When I am with a client, my job is to give them my 100% undivided attention. I do that by making sure that if my mind starts to drift, I grab my pen and write down what took me out of the present moment, and then refocus back. Or I might say something out loud to acknowledge where my mind is.
It is discipline of observation.
What I know after years of doing this work is that I simply have to pay attention to, and track, where my mind goes. If I get out of balance, I instantly know I am not here in this moment. So I have to deal with the anger, upset whatever it is. Sometimes it is as simple as saying out loud, that I feel angry, distracted etc. Sometimes what assists me is to get up and move and then return to what I was doing with my full focus.
I like to think of this process as one of gathering myself to this moment by letting go of what is distracting me. Turning off the external and internal distractions is the biggest key. If my mind drifts to something that needs an action, I write it down. And if it is something I am upset about I simply tell myself we will address it later and I make a note about it so I remember to complete it. Sometimes just that action alone resolves the imbalance. And I gently return to the moment.
Balance is a continual returning to this very moment.
1.Practice being fully present with the one thing you are doing right now.
2.When your mind starts drifting to something else you need to do, stop, write it down, then come back to what you are doing.
3.Make sure you are using an In-box to capture all the notes you take and that you process the notes to completion.