The term ‘mindfulness mantra’ gives me The Eye Rolls.
Why? I’m not a particularly zen person. I multi-task like a tornado. I talk really fast. I FREQUENTLY START PLANNING MY NEXT TRIP WHILE I’M ON VACATION.
Add to this my deeply pragmatic nature and you can imagine how proclamations about ‘Serenity Now!” sit with me. I get all embarrassed and blushy and all “Is this really working? Is there a hidden camera somewhere?”
But I don’t particularly enjoy being a whirlwind of multi-tasking. I don’t enjoy working so hard I have to put myself to bed at 8 pm. I don’t enjoy my self-created never-ending to-do lists.
Last week, while I was simultaneously making toast, texting, and checking my email (and doing a poor job of all) the tiny voice inside my head said: “For the love of Pete, just do what you’re doing.”
Stand next to the counter, put the bread in the toaster and wait. Look out the window while the bread is toasting and think about how you’re going to put tahini and honey on it. And then do that.
Just text your friend
Think about the message she sent you. Write her back using full words. Think about the awesome show you’re texting about.
Just watch the tv show
Appreciate that well turned phrase, the impeccable costuming, the complex characters. Sit on your couch. Snuggle into the pillows. Laugh.
Mindfulness is not a new or mind-blowing concept. Spiritual gurus and therapists have been telling us to notice and acknowledge our surroundings and experiences for, oh, ever. But most mantras give me The Eye Rolls and meditation puts me to sleep.
But for some reason “Just do what you’re doing” works for me. It’s a casual, real-world, judgement and lingo-free reminder to give each activity the attention it deserves. Even a pragmatist like me can handle that.
How do you handle multi-tasking and the pressures of day-to-day life? Do you have any sort of mantra or reminder to re-center yourself?