I’m two days into vacation, and it’s not going well.
When I try to rest I feel guilty.  I’m at home, and I look around and see all the shit that needs to be done.
Then I try doing some of it and end up feeling angry.  I mean, I’m supposed to be on vacation.
All of which reminds me of the Zen proverb:
just sit.
just walk.
Above all,
don’t wobble.
Now, I know this.  I know that when you’re not paying full attention you feel fragmented.  That when you’re not where you are, you’re nowhere.
But knowing doesn’t help.  Because I’m also like most people.  I spent my life detached from reality, dwelling not in the moment but in tomorrow (What do I have to do? And when?) or yesterday (What did I forget?).  
Like most people, I spend my life wobbling.
So hard to get in touch with here/now.  To stop doing and just be.
I just installed a mindfulness bell on my computer which rings periodically to remind me to visit here/now.
Every time I hear it I get annoyed.  (Monkey mind hates to be told to shut up.)
But then I stop what I’m doing, close my eyes, breathe in and out three times.
And for just a moment I enter the room I’m already in.  I feel my body, and the air around it, and hear the sounds in that air, and I settle down a little bit, and feel a little less fragmented.
For just a moment, I’m unwobbly.

5 responses to “Wobbly

  • Simona

    I can certainly identify! I like the idea of a mindfullness bell!

  • Clare Flourish

    Writing, just write.
    Catching up on paperwork, just-

    I don’t like the idea of a “mindfulness bell”. Yes, I like those moments when I am absorbed in doing something simple- washing my hands has become, more often than not, a ritual of beauty and significance for me- but it seems to me that just before the bell rings you are doing what you need to do, not ruminating about past or future, and when the bell rings you are distracted from it.

    Ug. I come to comment when I disagree. While I am here, I will say how much I enjoy and value what you say here.

    • Steve Hauptman

      Maybe you’re naturally more mindful than I am. My monkey mind operates as a kind of vacuum cleaner, sucking all my attention and energy up into my head. So the bell gives me a chance to reverse that, however briefly; kind of a micro-vacation. My hope is that over time it will make it easier for me not to take all that ferocious chatter quite so seriously..

      Clare, your input is always welcome. Kvetch away. 🙂

  • d00fus

    I recall how the online mindfulness bell was so useful in the most turmoil filled period before initiating the divorce. It took me away from ruminating, to meditating for a minute, and allowed me to focus on my work for the day. Good for you!

  • Tori

    Great piece. I think a mindfulness bell would be extremely useful for a lot of people.

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