Mid-May 2019 Newsletter
Hello, and a magical more-than-enough Mid-May to you!
Are you here?
Welcome, or welcome back, to my newsletter.
Today's issue is about being fully here, or not.
For much of my earlier life I lived mostly in my head, daydreaming and imagining, only
minimally connected to the outside world. Books were more interesting to me than the
people around me, and safer. The printed page didn't feel like a threat or that it was
about to criticize me or judge me, as I expected live humans to do. I could read at my own pace,
then reread what particularly spoke to me, without the book getting annoyed.
When I was engrossed in a book as a child, I was fully engaged, tuned in to the book and
nothing else. If I was outside up in the backyard maple tree reading or daydreaming, my mother would
call and I did not hear her. I was "in my own world". I carried this world with me when I
went out in public, and might pay more attention to the thoughts in my head than to the
events happening in front of me. I was only partially present, not fully "plugged in".
Children are expected to have heads full of fantasy, so adults need to keep them safe, or
they might impulsively run into a busy street or do something else dangerous. As we grow
out of childhood, we learn there are times we need to be present, like in class, or when riding our
bike, or later while driving. Dreaming and imagining are fine and I think even necessary, yet there
are situations where being distracted can be harmful.
When I discovered how enjoyable school was, learning something new day after day, I wanted
to be present for it, to absorb every speck I could, fully. As I've let go of most of my fear
of others, I am now much more interested in connecting with people, listening and interacting
with my full focus. Similarly, I can more easily stay "here" in an experience, without feeling
like I need to escape to my thoughts of what I'll get to do later, when I have no demands on me,
and no one is watching me. I'm a little sad thinking of how much I missed because I just
wasn't present for it, even though I was right there.
When I see someone who isn't present, whether it's a distracted driver or a neighbor
pretending to listen to me while clearly her mind and attention are elsewhere,
first I make sure I pull my own attention back. I'll stop speaking to the person who isn't
hearing me, and steer way clear of the distracted driver. Then I wonder how much of that
person's life is spent this way, mind and attention in one place and body in another.
This feels like having a foot each on 2 separate boats, heading in different directions!
The person who isn't present is a good example to me of how I don't want to be, literally
missing the moments of my life. Being fully here, seeing and hearing and smelling and feeling,
is such a gift! Books can describe Life, with its rich experiences, sensations, and emotions,
and I'll always love to lose myself in a good book. And would you rather read about a delicious
meal, or taste it yourself? Life, unfiltered through anyone's perceptions but your own, is the
ultimate gift. Allow yourself to be here, so you can receive and appreciate it!
To read about being present as it relates to vision,
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You're helping many other people!
Enjoy the second half of your May.
I'll write again in a couple of weeks. Take care!