I caught myself hurrying last night, rushing to cut up vegetables for a stir fry. Feeling impatient at the thought that I still had more to chop up and really not enjoying what should have been a lovely simple and colourful process, preparing a meal bursting with colour!
Why was I feeling like this?
My mind was not on the task at all. As the vibrant piles of vegetables were building up on the chopping board, I wasn’t savouring any glass of wine that’s for sure! And I wasn’t feeling good about creating a meal bursting with goodness. Why on earth not I asked myself? Because as I absent-mindedly chopped away, I was thinking about yesterday and last week and then tomorrow and next week – anything but the present… Oh but what a waste!
Luckily, I did come to my senses (after chopping the asparagus actually) and pulled myself out of the thought madness I had allowed myself. It just doesn’t make sense, but I think we are all guilty of it! Why I wonder? Why is it so hard to keep your mind on the present time – As it’s the only time we really have! Why do our minds insist on dragging us to the past and future most of our waking hours? Because if you think about it, when we act from the past we are acting from past conditioning which can often hold us back or only allow us to act a certain way to circumstances. And, when we act from the future, we are acting from ‘fear’ because we don’t know what lies ahead of us.
I believe this is why there is so much anxiety in our world and after speaking to friends about this, it seems to be getting worse. I notice that it’s impossible to feel anxious when I’m focussed only on what I am doing at the time. I guess this is why I love cooking so much, as usually I try to be with my food. When I’m in this optimal state, it’s like I have full control over my mind, which to me is better than it having full control over me!
Now obviously, I see the importance in planning for the future and learning from past mistakes, but surely this is not where we should be at, most of the time in our brains. Otherwise we will miss so many moments! Think of all the times we are not present for, because our minds are to busy chattering like an internal broken record…
So, I think we should give ourselves the gift of being in the present moment. Just for today or for right now (we have to start somewhere.)
And Wow what a difference it makes to actually pull up, take a few deep breaths and notice the now…it’s like taking a boiling stew off a high flame and watching how quickly it just ‘stills.’
This is what happens to the brain when we pull it up. Phew what a relief!
How often do you take your brain of the boil?