Broken Toe Lesson #2: Being In The Moment [w/soundtrack 🎧 ]
It’s unbelievable how rare we are actually mentally present in the moment and place that we physically are present in. Why it is important to stick your head out of the clouds for a moment or two? Well, at least to watch out not to break your toe — basic survival. At the max — to avoid emotional and mental suicide.
It’s silly how I broke my little toe. Unfortunately I don’t have a good story to tell. I wasn’t doing anything cool like extreme sports or dancing on a bar (depending on what your definition of coolness is). I wasn’t even kicking butts (not even figuratively speaking).
It was early morning, I was rushing to work, my mind was running 100 km/h going over all the things I need to do, creating scenarios of conversations I will need to have, meetings to run… Bam! I stubbed it! I think I saw stars before my eyes. Rest is history, but the main lesson:
I wasn’t paying attention to my surrounding, I wasn’t mentally present.
And look, the most important reason to pay attention to what’s happening around you is basic survival. But we are living in the age of distraction and short attention span: earphones on, billboards and screens around screaming for our attention, mind running over 100 things we need to do, frustrations of the past, fears of the future, while we are staring at our phone screens swiping through social media nonsense. This picture calls for an accident, doesn’t it? Stubbing a toe is the least that can happen. It is suicidal if you really, seriously think about this type of behaviour. What your mama taught you? — look around, stop daydreaming. What your dad said? — don’t text and drive. Do you follow their advice? You should.
But there are other things that we are missing out on to the point of emotional suicide as we are avoiding the present moment. As I had more time to reflect now, I started spinning off and exploring this idea and this is what I’ve come to.
…if you are present in the present it’s a present,
the essence of the message is a legend…
Being in the moment to see
For all things beautiful that are out there and that we miss on regular basis.
I have to move around really slowly and really carefully now, so I need to look around. So I had plenty of opportunities to notice a pretty tree, a cute little house, a vignette on the gate, the sun caressing the skin, a blow of fresh wind. All of those things made me happy. A 10-min walk to a coffee shop or tram stop has never made me so happy before.
Being in the moment to hear
Same idea. Being present also means you suddenly start hearing birds singing, people talking (and what they are actually saying). World around you is full of sounds. It is also enjoyable to hear a chatter of two ladies that have just met, mom talking to her kid, someone playing guitar on the street… People around you say meaningful things (sometimes). Most importantly, they actually talk to you, and if you are there, you respond…
Being in the moment to connect
A lot has been said about human connections devaluing in the age of technology. Well guess what, it’s not just Facebook that sets us apart. It’s also our absenteeism. How often are you actually fully present in the conversation? If this conversation doesn’t matter to you — don’t waste your time. If it is, well then be there… Funny enough how limping around can actually facilitate good conversations and human connections.
Being in the moment to reflect
But you said don’t escape with your mind from reality? — you ask me. I said don’t run past or future scenarios in your brain all the time. Reflections on the present are good. Ask yourself what you feel, what you think, what you want, who you are — all those philosophical questions we never have time for. Answers you find can be interesting
So what being in the moment means? To me, it’s basic rule of physical and also mental survival. Being in the moment means being mentally and emotionally here and now, open and available for the world and people (or that particular person) to connect, being attentive to one’s surrounding and one’s inner-space as well.
What is not “being in the moment”? Living through past situations and experiencing emotions of the past, speculating about future events and stressing out about it, escapism. Where it brings you to? Stress and anxiety, accidents, missing out on the beauty of real life around you.
I’m no better, I’m still head-in-the-clouds, daydreaming, I’m not so enlightened, you know. I’m just a simple human that stubbed the toe and unexpectedly got a glimpse of something important.
There’s space and time to analyse past and plan for future, of course, but there’s also main space and time and it is here and now.
P.S.: one book to read — Eckhart Tolle “The Power of Now”