A guaranteed way to increase my blood pressure and heart rate is to ask me to take a moment to be in the moment. Be mindful. Clear the mind of clutter and focus on sensory stimuli. Concentrate on breath.
I’m walking the dog – on a gorgeous early fall Wisconsin day – checking two email accounts synched to my smartphone (what a colossal misnomer) and composing this blog post in my head. Clear the clutter? I need that clutter; it gives me purpose. Or so I think . . . something like: cluttero ergo sum.
I’m fortunate; most of my mind-clutter is typical of daily living and raising two extraordinary young adults. My “work” is in a world-class art museum sharing art with all ages and stages. I am not traveling a mile underground to mine potash for twelve hours. (There is a story, for another post, on this subject.)
It is in raising my children that I most see the need to be in the moment, because the moment is fleeting and of utmost priority. These precious, seemingly mundane moments quickly accumulate into years. This fall, my oldest child is in her second organic chemistry course, and my youngest drove the car to the school homecoming dance. The three of us recently celebrated my niece’s wedding . . . the niece I once cradled in my arms.
So, I will practice this mindfulness stuff. I will add it to my list. Or begin now. I closed one email inbox after reading only the first email. I listened to the sound of my windbreaker jacket and the dog’s feet padding through the leaves. I heard a tree alive with chirping birds. And then I saw evidence of the squirrels’ industriousness. Like the flipping of a switch, my thoughts snapped back to my need to be “productive.” Learning to be in the moment evidently requires an investment of time.
Practice mindfulness. Step away from your routine. Visit the Woodson Art Museum often. Give your brain refreshment. Share art. Create art in Art Park – the freshly re-landscaped family interactive gallery, and create momentous moments aplenty.