At Wisdom 2.0, you can strengthen the connection you have with yourself. There's time and space for meditation, yoga, and other ways to recharge. This year, I started my Wisdom experience with a facilitated mindful Urban Hike. About 100 people or so gathered in a park and then walked in silence for the length of several blocks on a busy San Francisco street.
It was perhaps easy for me, someone from Iowa, to notice all the different sights, smells and sounds of an unfamiliar place. But interestingly, people who lived in San Francisco and who walked that street daily commented about how different it was on this particular walk; how much more they noticed. That, my friends, is the power of awareness, of mindfulness! Mindfulness is simply being present to what is without judgment. It's not possible for us to exist and not be aware of *something* around us. We can't turn our awareness off. The question though, is, where is our awareness going? What is it that captures our attention? What are we choosing to focus on?
Like when I'm sitting in front of my laptop and trying to get a few last tasks done before I call it a day and my daughter comes into my office and plants her head in my peripheral vision. And when I ignore her, she touches me and moves her body in front of my laptop. And when I ignore her still, she exclaims, "Mommy!" Then I finally acknowledge her. I'm aware of her presence but I'm choosing to give my attention to my work instead of to her.
It's not that I don't know she's there. It's just that I don't refocus my attention to her right away; I choose instead to keep my focus on my work. I'm becoming more aware of how many times something gets in the way of me giving her my full attention. Whether it's work I'm doing, or a book I'm reading, something I'm viewing on my smart phone, or a household chore I'm doing, I've become aware of just how frequently something other than her has my attention.
And I'm not judging this. I'm noticing it.
And I'm not saying that our children should have our complete, undivided attention 100% of the time. We all know that's not reality.
But I am becoming more aware of how little time I have available to spend with her during the week, and how frequently I'm letting other distractions intrude on that time.
And I notice that during the days or weeks that I'm feeling more distracted and less present with her, the more disconnected from her I feel. And I don't like that feeling. At all.
Now that I have brought awareness to this, I can recenter around my core values and priorities. I can remind myself of what's most important in my life right now, and what deserves or needs my attention in any given moment. And I can recommit to spending the time that I do have with her, with her, fully present.
There will always be time to clean the house or to read that next book or to complete the next item off my to-do list. But there will never again be this moment with my daughter. And at the end of the day, she is what's most important to me in this moment. So in each moment, I can make a different choice and I can choose to give her my full, undivided attention, even if it is for just one moment.
"Life isn't a matter of milestones but of moments."
What deserves your attention in this moment?