It had been a busy week, with nothing out of the ordinary of doing two things at once….that was when the ‘present’ was knocked into me….
At that moment I could have had a small cry, as I was in pain, however I was delivering some needed clothes to a family in need and more things on my list to get done before heading to a course. I had taken the bags out of the boot, as I was shutting the boot with my right hand, I used my left to pick up a bag, as I straightened from picking the bag up my forehead collected the edge of the boot….ouch. For a moment I thought that there could have been blood, luckily not….just a nice bruise to remind me of the moment that the ‘present was knocked into me’. Being mindful, being present, having awareness is not new to me, infact I facilitate mindfulness sessions to school children and adults. So how was it I brought the boot down to collect my forehead…I know where my head is, I knew what my right arm was doing with shutting the boot, how many times have I said to one of my children ‘mind your head’. Where was my head at?
I can’t specifically answer that, as to where were my thoughts, all I know is I was doing two things at once and it did not prove to be helpful. I was delivering material needs to a family so I wasn’t sure which unit it was, I was making sure that I was delivering the right bags, I was checking the time as I had a few things to do before a deadline. Clearly my mind was in the past (albeit immediate) and future (again immediate), but when was I actually in the present moment where I was shutting the boot, picking up the bag to make my way to the front door? I would have been there at some point, I just wasn’t present with it (gees I hope you are following me, or at least relating to the internal chatter).
Normal, yes all those thoughts are normal and okay, what was unhelpful for me was attaching to the past and future whilst the present was happening without being present with it. I did walk down the driveway with a smile on my face and a tear rolling down my face, offering thanks for the knock and checking back in with what was ‘now’.
The rest of the day I stayed with the focus of paying attention and being present, I enjoyed laughing in the car with a friend to the course, I became engrossed being lead in a mindfulness of the body meditation – with the focus on touch. My mind and body had an overall sense of calm and serenity with it, reminding me of my own catch phrase ‘rushing calmly’,where I still get the things done that I need to do, I just do it mindfully and presently, taking that breath, be with it, and undertake each task as they are presented.
Upon reflection I thank that moment because as I look over the week up to that painful knock it was a reminder that to stop and listen really does make a difference. From that present knock my afternoon, evening and weekend had me mindful, calmer, with more clarity and a smile on my face.
Eryka is a relationships counsellor, mindfulness facilitator building people’s sense of self-awareness. Workshops and courses are run regularly along the Mornington Peninsula, Vic.