Thursday, July 3, 2014
We only have some many days in this life. We may not know the number but we do know it's a finite number. Why do so many of us spend our days doing what we neither love nor want? It doesn't even have to be something we dislike. It could be something we settle for. It could even be good things that are sucking our life hours away.
There's a way of thinking more common to Eastern Philosophies than Western ones. Mindfulness. You may have heard it expressed as “Be here now.” Today I was in line at the grocery store. The lady in front of me was on her cell phone talking to a former boyfriend. She didn't even like him, as everyone in the store could not help but overhear. Even so, she didn't hang up. In fact, she could barely complete her grocery order as her mind certainly was not in the store. Too bad, the check out lady had a killer sense of humor and she missed that.
My days have few routines and rituals, and even those are always up for scrutiny. It does give me a reputation for being random. When one mindful, it's a bit easier to change one's mind.
That's not to say it's easy, just a bit easier. People have expectations. Ruts are easy to fall into and hard to climb out of. Ruts are nice for keeping a low profile and not sticking out. In Japan they have a saying: the nail that sticks out gets pounded down. That's life in a conformist society for you.
In the West we too have a wise saying: take time to smell the roses. That looks like a form of mindfulness to me. With some many things tugging on our attention these days it's even more important to chose what to give our time and attention to. If we don't run our lives, others will run them for us.