He called me Grace
My father jokingly used to call me “grace” – specifically because I was the opposite of graceful. I talked too fast, thought too fast, and moved too fast causing myself to knocked into things, trip, muddle my words and so on.
Mind you, I still have those moments from time to time, but hopefully not enough to claim that nickname anymore.
We are mega-multi-taskers
Many of us nowadays are mega multi-taskers without even realising it. From obvious scenarios which require multi-tasking like working in a call-centre where you have to listen to customers, engage them in friendly chatter, all while searching for answers or information on your computer – to the less obvious of talking on speaker-phone while we drive, or eating lunch while doing work, talking while walking, surfing the internet while resting.
There is no question, multi-tasking has value – I do it myself to save time, to squeeze more into my day. Some jobs require it, parents need it, it’s clear it does indeed have its value.
For example, multi-tasking to get your children off to school – helping them dress, packing their lunch, getting yourself ready for work, yes – it’s required for you achieving all those things.
Turning against you
But there does come a point when multi-tasking works against you. When it becomes counterintuitive.
Like accidentally tossing the chopped onion in the garbage instead of the frying pan because you’re thinking too much about an argument you had earlier in the day. When you only half-hear what another person is saying because you’re scrolling through your social media feed on your phone. When your sleep is restless because you didn’t allow yourself to full rest before putting your head to the pillow. When you miss your child’s smile and wave goodbye as they walk off to school. That’s where multi-tasking works against you.
Rebalancing with Mindfulness
And this is where mindfulness steps in. In very simple terms, one could say that mindfulness is the opposite of multi-tasking. The act of mindfulness enables us just enough ‘mental space’ to become more present in the moments which matter. Imagine if you could spare the mere milliseconds it takes to engage mindfulness into more and more of your day, where you can.
How would you answer?
Would your actions be less wasteful (like that binned onion!)? Would your friend feel more valued because you paid attention to what they said? Would your rest be better because you allowed your body to wind-down? Would your heart warm over, and your child feel loved, if you took the fleeting moment to be mindful – to be present for them – as they waved goodbye and hopped off to school?
How you answered those questions is also your answer of whether mindfulness is effective and worth doing.
For those who may be wondering about the ‘real world’ practicality of mindfulness, you might be thinking – how do you engage it? It’s easy to say, ‘just slow down’ but honestly, how can we do that when we’re so busy?
That’s a great point because I believe that mindfulness requires a partner in its effort: meditation. But you can’t float around all day meditating right? Right.
So we must merge the benefits of meditation with mindfulness, but only little bit by little bit. Not by overwhelming your routine, but by chipping away at it. Then over time, as you meditate and stretch the benefits of meditation beyond those purposeful moments, mindfulness gets engaged more easily, more readily, and with grace.
If you’re interested in learning how I actually integrate these two soul-saving practices together in my own life – my Mindfulness+Meditation course might be a great place for you to start your journey! Stay safe sweet friends and big love to you!