7:45 on a recent Sunday morning, I found myself shuffling through Home Depot eating a piece of dry toast and calling it breakfast. I heard my boots heavily trying to make their way down an aisle to locate (hopefully) an item on my list that needed to be available the next day for a contractor to install. The lack of energy in my legs, my torso, my arms and in the exhaustion of my brain was suddenly shocking. To boot, I was actually eating my lackluster breakfast with no attention to how out of character this was for me. I stopped in my tracks, took stock of my Home Depot journey and chuckled to myself.
I did for one moment think, “This is pathetic.” The judge and jury came in to fill my head and remind me that for me, this was unacceptable behavior. I was moving through the motions of what I had to do and was doing it with absolutely no present moment awareness. I remember many years ago reading a chapter in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book “Wherever you go, there you are” that being mindful is just an invitation to heighten your awareness, not a trial by your conscious mind. With that insight running through my mind, I became more sensitive, more curious, more compassionate to how I was feeling and why. There were some very clear reasons why I was in this state, none of which I really need to relate, but I was relieved that I paused and reminded myself to revisit my personal needs for rest, nourishment and be accountable to myself to get some much needed self-care.
In the field of mindfulness, present moment awareness invites us to stay in touch with the exquisite experiences (the moments) of the many small, often neglected world of our thoughts, the happenings of our day. If we pay attention, stay awake, our time regardless of what we are doing is nourishing, insightful, and in my mind, I then feel more responsible for the choices I make.
So I breathe in, I breathe out, I continue to shuffle, eating my dry toast, walking through Home Depot at 7:45 on a Sunday morning, but now I own the experience.