Tuesday, November 19, 2013

                                          Out of my Mind or Mindful? Hmmm

I am confused. All the years I was growing up, the messages were “Plan for the Future,” “Save for a Rainy Day,” “Always have something to look forward to,” “Set Goals.” All that has changed with the “Live in the Now” movement. The recent rise in popularity of “Mindfulness” has gotten me to stop thinking about how fabulous my peanut butter is going to taste on my rice cake in the morning to how my left knee looks right this second.

The practice of Mindfulness focuses on being totally aware of everything about the moment you are in. After all, that’s all we’ve got: right now. Right now, my eyes are drooping from exhaustion, and my left knee is wrinkled. The more I focus on my fatigue,the more my eyes flutter, so it’s hard for me to see my wrinkled knee. I am not to allow my mind to leave the wrinkle and start thinking about my age. I must continue to focus on the wrinkle itself. How wide is it? How long is it? It is horizonal or vertical? Is it deep or shallow? Is it the same color as the rest of the cap? How does the wrinkle feel?  Being mindful allows us to relax and not worry about anything other than where we choose to focus at that time. I am presently so relaxed, my eyes keep closing. Soon I will be asleep, and I will no longer be confused, and I will not even have to think about the present state of my knee much less the future of the cap. This is all good.

Now the real test of mastering the mindfulness technique is when Mr. Wonderful snorts like a constipated cow and pulls all the covers off me at 2:38 a.m. I wake up in a panic. How would the mindfulness technique apply here? Do I focus on the panic trying to  remain in a state of emotional paralysis preventing me from committing a felony? Or do I concentrate on going back to sleep by counting snorts and humming fuhhhhhhh. . . . 

Presently, I am mindful that this whole essay is absurd, and I need to focus on how quickly I can spread peanut butter on my rice cake.