How often do you find yourself doing something, simply going through the motions, instead of actually paying attention? If you’re anything like me, it’s more than often enough – it’s a stream, sometimes bubbling, sometimes gushing, but still a steady stream of constant refocusing.
Whatever you’re doing, be fully present.
You know the monkey’s mind mantra, be here now. You know the repetitive routine, breathe. We practice. Constantly. I think this loss of focus, this lack of presence may be how many “accidents” happen. I wonder if this presence of mind, being fully present is our greatest safety feature.
Even as I write this post, I am listening to the vacuum my precious Renaissance man is running, and I hear that there’s something slightly off, perhaps wrapped around the beater bar or lodged in the hose, something that may impact the motor. The noise is now a high-pitched screeching.
I hear my lovely teen intervene, “Dad, there’s something stuck in the vacuum!” Has she already turned into me? I trust this man and this teen, both of whom I love dearly, to turn off the cuss-ing vacuum and investigate, maybe even solve the problem, on their own. I allow my mind to refocus on writing.
I refocus, again. And I drift off, again.
Now I am opening a new tab and checking the banking statement, and What the cuss! How on Earth could our electricity usage have doubled during this coldest month of winter? I grumble in Gibberish as I tally the end result, fooling myself into thinking that I’m multitasking even though I know my brain is not actually able to do so, as quick as it is, this middle-aged mind, and may still be.
I also know that I’m not writing out what I set my intention upon writing. How did this all happen so quickly, again? I imagine my potential. Again. I will give writing my best and fullest attention.
Whatever you’re thinking, be fully present.
I realize that what I’m doing (or not doing) is simply a result of my thoughts, distracted by this monkey (who’s now on my back because this mindful practice really is easy and hard) mind. It happens. Constantly. I remember to remind myself, gently, to refocus.
But this monkey mind is quick-witted and mischievous. It runs from thought to thought, and jumps from here to there and even to conclusions faster than I can contain it. It happens, again and again. I remember to remind myself, gently, to release it.
My mind is not where I want it to be. My mind is not even moving in the direction I intended. It’s not moving these fingers forward in the direction to write what it set out to write. This monkey mind is in its infancy today. Oh, to be a wise, old monkey! What’ve I got here, now?
Give whatever it is whatever you’ve got.
Even if you’re not doing what you want to do, even when you’re not where you want to be, give whatever it is whatever you’ve got. Sometimes that’s the potential, and not just the imagining of it. Whatever you’re doing, focus upon it, refocus upon it, again and again, and practice it. And something will shift.
Excuse me while I change the title of this post from Imagine Your Potential to Give Whatever It Is Whatever You’ve Got. I realize that I may not have written what I intended to write, but I also see that I have written something that nearly describes, slightly resembles my mindful practice, as easy and hard as it always is.
How’s that for mindfulness, monkey?
Do you know and love someone who finds mindfulness difficult, someone who just gets a little distracted? Share this post. You just might help get that mindfulness monkey off his or her back.