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Friday, 26 October 2012

OY YOU! Pay attention!

26th October 2012
People are never satisfied.  If they have a little, the want more.  If they have a lot, they want still more.  Once they have more, they wish they could be happy with little, but are incapable of making the slightest effort in that direction.  Paulo Coelho, The Winner Stands Alone
I believe that if the universe things we need to do something, it will continue to give us the message until we listen – I’m a bit philosophical like that!  Anyway, I’ve been thinking about mindfulness and meditation quite a bit late, I multitask a lot which means I also miss out on lots of things because I’m not always paying attention.  Anyway the other day I was multitasking again, walking the dog whilst listening to an audiobook – not a bad way of using multitasking to be honest because I can still look around and enjoy the view if I want but it doesn’t help clear my mind like a good walk should do.  Anyway I’m veering off, so I’m listening to this book by Miranda Hart (the comedienne from that Friday night show ‘Miranda’) and in it she’s trying to explain the mobile phone to her 18 year old self from the 80s, I laughed at the line “You press buttons for words to come up on a phone instead of just calling someone when it’s a phone anyway? One word – WHY? The whole chapter is amusing because it does make the mobile phone sound like a ridiculous idea when really most of us can’t live without them these days!
The end of the chapter and the bit that stayed in my head was “try and go a day without a mobile.  For we might just see something wonderful we would otherwise have missed”
I remember thinking to myself as I read it, yes you really should try that, you spend far to much time messing with that phone, you’re always in constant communication with some one.  Then I disregarded it and carried on with my walk and the next chapter of the book!
So that was the universe making its first attempt at communicating with me!  Yesterday when it realised I’d forgotten all about the subtle hint, it smacked me in the face, not with a hint but a no choice gesture “if you won’t listen, I’ll take the decision out of your hands” kind of statement!
I dropped my new iphone 5, oh yes I did and the screen smashed to smithereens, and I didn’t even swear!  I think I was in shock to be honest, now I have no choice, I can’t mess with my phone I have to turn it off until it’s fixed. 
What an odd feeling it was last night in my meeting, not having my phone – I didn’t know the time, I couldn’t show members photos of the foods we were talking about, I couldn’t look up the ProPoints in things on my app – oh man it was weird and I didn’t like it. 
I did like the fact it wasn’t there to distract me though, so once it is repaired I will be more mindful of how much I use it, I will attempt to use it less that’s for sure!  To realise things can wait till I get back to my office to be done.
Yep mindfulness is really important in every aspect of our lives, Mindfulness is a translation of a word that simply means awareness. It's a direct, intuitive knowing of what you are doing while you are doing it. It's knowing what's going on inside your mind and body, and what's going on in the outside world as well.  And it’s a great practice to get into when you eat!
Most of the time our attention is not where we intended it to be. Our attention is hijacked by our thoughts and emotions, by our concerns, by our worries for the future, and our regrets and memories of the past. Mindful awareness is about learning to pay attention, in the present moment, and without judgement. It's like training a muscle - training attention to be where you want it to be. Being mindful reduces our tendency to work on autopilot, allowing us to us choose how we respond & react.  When we’re mindful when we eat it will help us enjoy our food more and even realise when we are actually full!
So today, pay attention, slow down and get mindful!  The next meal you sit down to, use these ideas to get you to realise what’s actually going on in your head as you eat – you might be surprised that this food you think you’re obsessed with and think about constantly isn’t even getting your attention when you sit down to eat it!

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