In my post the other day I mentioned that I have been struggling with a lot weighing on my mind. Simply overwhelmed with what has been going on. Getting centered that day helped, but it did not alter my reality. Then today it hit me, what was going on. I have failed to live in the present moment, and have let worries intrude, stealing my peace. I have also been focused on what was not getting done, instead of just going with the flow of things.
You see I often fail to notice what is right in front of me. But a month ago Margaret Feinberg had offered a challenge to some of her blog readers, and I jumped on board. The challenge was to focus on being present and uni-tasking, as opposed to multitasking. We ended up calling this the Joy Experiment, and she gave us bracelets to help us keep our focus, just like the one pictured above. On one side it says “The Joy Experiment” on the back it says “Philippians 2:14″.
I found this challenge to be hard at first, although I thought it would be easy, because I have tried Mindfulness before. However during the first week I found that I never drive without the radio. At first I succeeded in being more present. I noticed the scenery, the wild flowers, the colors of spring, it was nice. However soon my mind rebelled, thoughts going 100mph, darting from one thing to the next. I found myself planning emails, deliberating on problems, planning blog posts, and becoming far removed from what I was doing. All of that actually served as a great reminder though that I have to be intentional about all things. I thought that I had mastered not letting my mind travel so much like that. It used to be a major issue. Now I see that I have gotten a bit slack in controlling what I think about. As in most things it is not a one time battle and it needs to be remembered the things I have learned to stop from doing this.
Week two revealed, that technology encourages the multitasking. I tend to want to skip from one website to the next, many windows open at once, answering texts on my phone, and many other things at the same time. For me it is a great lesson in being intentional about all I do. Because rushing and trying to do more than one thing at a time compromises the quality of all I do. Simply being aware, noticing the needs of others around me, is a simple pleasure.
Week three was the most rewarding for me. My Pastor was teaching about changing grace and how that enables us to be present in the moment. He referred to Galatians 5:22-24:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
As I was reflecting on this later, I became aware that I have seen changes, I’m just really slow in seeing my own growth or improvements. When I remember to be present and unitask I’ve noticed that I don’t feel frantic when trying to get things done. I am also more aware of Gods presence in the task I am doing. I have become nicer during interruptions, because my unitasking shifts my attention to the interruption instead of what I was working on previously. I have also noticed more joy and peace because I take the time to enjoy the task before me.
But since my Grandmother has went into the hospital, I’ve forgotten to be intentional, and I started to worry about the things outside of my control and I forgot to be present. I had to remind myself that Jesus is in the present moment. When I start stressing about things out of my control, or things in the future, I lose my strength for today. One moment at a time, being fully present opens me up for blessings, noticing the way Gods hand is in my life, and strength for right now.
Now if I could just remember that, and never forget. Have you ever tried being fully present? Have you noticed a difference in your life? If so, please share!!