Today I hope to take a quick break from travel and talk about ‘presence of mind’. Today as a watched 60 Minutes I heard a story about a new movement to live your life in the moment called Mindfulness. We have always heard about this through various popular quote: live today like it’s your last, live for today not for tomorrow, etc. But how many of you actually live in the moment? I know that personally I am constantly thinking about what I need to do next.
So in the 60 Minute story, Anderson Cooper met with Jon Kabat-Zinn, a leading MIT trained scientist in the Mindfulness movement. For three days him and a group of adults he was with put away all electronic devices, including alarm clocks and focused on meditating and being aware of exactly what they were doing; whether that was breathing or simply walking. While Anderson Cooper expressed cell-phone ‘withdrawal’ symptoms, he believes that the three-day retreat has made him a more focused and aware individual.
This lifestyle has been proved to have so many health benefits that hospitals around the world use it as a treatment for highly-stressed individuals. Google has even begun to teach Mindfulness classes and take a moment of silence at the beginning of meetings to allow everyone to gather their thoughts and focus on the task at hand.
After listening to this story, I briefly attempted to experience this mediation. Within 30 seconds the experiment proved to be a failure. I was already thinking about getting PSAT scores tomorrow, the Mini Dance Marathon later this week, and ACT scores that I will be getting back later this month. In our busy life styles, it is easy to be overwhelmed with all we have to do, but after listening to this edition of 60 Minutes, I have decided to try to implement this policy occasionally.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, anticipating that listeners would feel like this was one more thing to add to their busy life, made sure to mention that no one should feel like they have to do the meditation. The ultimate goal is for Mindfulness to be a way of being, not a time consuming addition to your list to check off.
So this holiday season, instead of stressing about your travels, gifts to buy, and food to make, please try to enjoy the moments with your family in real time. While reminiscing afterwards can bring you happiness, the best experience is relishing the present moments.