“It’s not about getting somewhere,
it’s about being where we are.”
— Terry Minion
How many of you have gotten in your vehicle, started out on an errand, and a mile or so later found that you made a habitual turn to go to a habitual place that wasn’t on your agenda today? I’ve heard it said that this increases with age; however, I don’t think it has a lot to do with age, and much more to do with preoccupation.
Sometimes (I might even say oftener than I desire) I am just thinking about things. Problems I’m trying to solve maybe, or those endless scenarios that run amuck in my cranial cavity. In any case, I’m thinking and driving habitually. It’s kind of scary if you think of that habitual part. I remember commuting 52 miles each way to work for four years and finding myself not remembering the last 10 miles. Wow.
Then there are those situations where I am agreeing to go somewhere or do something that I really don’t want to do, but I’m trying to please someone else and do it anyway. You know the drill probably, as I’m thinking of being somewhere else and not paying much, or as little attention as I dare and get by. Though I try to think of where I am, I find myself wishing I was somewhere else, or at least wanting it to get over with quickly.
At some point, I started realizing what a waste of time and energy this was, and it was not helping me to have any joy; in fact, it was the opposite. So, I began a process of consciously trying to be “in the moment.” The key I found was to let go of expectations, and just go with the flow of whatever was going on. The other key was to stop allowing my mind to wander without supervision. Good ideas both, but I have to say that this wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever tried.
Still, I persisted and have been making steady progress over time. In other words, I keep trying and wanting to get better at it. So now, many times, I just relax into the thought of doing that thing that I really don’t want to do and to see if I can have some fun with it. And I do. Then, I just relax in the moment by enjoying my journey where ever I am going moment to moment by enjoying the sky, the air, the flowers, the people on the sidewalk. In other words, being where I am at the time I am there.
It does work and I am getting better. The main benefit for me is joy. I get to experience the joy of being there in the moment and experiencing something new because I surely wouldn’t have experienced it had I not been there. I’ve also learned better how to say no. No, thanks. I don’t care to go. Not that hard, but very powerful. I had to learn to relax in that as well, but that’s another story. . .
Being There, The Sequel. . .
Spread some joy today–I think you will agree if you try it that you will have more joy and spread more joy by being where ever you are in the moment.