Several years ago, I was on a walk and bumped into a friend who was a marathon runner. I had never seen this man walk anywhere before and soon learned that all the years of running had worn his knee’s out. We chit chatted a bit and then he said something that to this day, has stuck with me – “I didn’t realize how much I missed when running.” He continued, telling me about sites in our small town, that he had not noticed before.
It wasn’t until a few years later when I began to consciously slow down my marathon lifestyle, that his words really hit home. I’m not a runner, but every time I went for a walk, it was for exercise. In fact, everything I did, was about accomplishing something, which meant my body and my mind, were always moving fast (and missing a lot).
One of my customers at my former nutrition store, was a meta meditation teacher. I was intrigued, so I gave it a try. I didn’t stick with it for too long, but long enough to learn three questions that I use when I catch my mind wandering into the future, or past.
- What do you see?
- What do you hear?
- What do you feel?
This is how it works…
One morning on my drive to work, with my mind already in high gear thinking about all I needed to accomplish and lo and behold, I remembered these questions – paused and began to take notice.
What I saw was a tree with leaves dancing in the wind. What I heard was the gentle hum of the engine, and what I felt was peace. That’s all it took to bring me back to the present and arrive for my workday relaxed, calm and peaceful.
By using these questions to short-circuit my monkey mind, like my runner friend, I noticed things I hadn’t noticed before. The color of the plants, the sounds of birds and a very old log cabin (20 years driving the same road in my small town – I had never noticed the cabin).
On a trip to New York City, feeling overloaded from an intense workshop and craving the stillness and quiet that my home in the woods provides, I learned a valuable lesson – it doesn’t matter what environment you are in – when you use these three questions, you can disconnect from tension and a mind running amok, even in the middle of a busy, noisy city.
As I wandered the city streets, the noise in my head dissipated. What I saw, as the sun began to set, was a beautiful orange glow dancing on the buildings. I felt a gentle comforting breeze warming my skin and then I heard music and followed the sound – a grand piano had been moved into to the center of Washington Park. Amazing!
Three experiences, that without these questions, would have left me stuck running in the past and future of my marathon mind – missing the present moment beauty around me.
Want to give it a try?
Right now – hit the pause button and ask…
What do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel?
Do you think these questions will help you short-circuit monkey mind? Post your comment below.
I used to think something was wrong with me…my health – why did I get so tired from a day at school, or night out with friends or even when spending time in a crowded shopping mall? I even labeled myself as intolerant because certain people left me feeling mentally and physically exhausted. Again, what’s wrong with me?
A few years ago, I came across a documentary by Dr. Elain Aron about highly sensitive people which spun that statement “you’re too sensitive” right around!
I kid you not! When I left my position as Director of Advertising in print media and transitioned to owning a retail store, I often found myself saying to people “I’m so looking forward to having more time to volunteer and for myself.” (roll eyes).
However, as I would later learn via the school of hard knocks, I had brought along all my emotional baggage that I didn’t realize I was carrying and proceeded to forge ahead at full steam driven by the beliefs I wasn’t aware that I had.
So, take a word of caution from someone who’s “been there, done that”, before jumping, consider these 11 Unconventional Ideas for Taking Your Next Step in Life:
I know what upper limiting is. I’ve read the Big Leap by Gay Hendricks (twice) and re-read the chapter on upper limiting (three times). I even talk about upper limiting in my course, but it wasn’t until this week that how I upper limit, finally became crystal clear.
Upper limiting is a form of self-sabotage. We have a desire we’d like to fulfill and a dream to spread our wings, but our brains want us to take the easiest path. It’s crazy because the easiest path, is most often the path that finds us falling into habits and patterns that result in the opposite of what we’re desiring.
Case in point.
Last week flew by for me. Do you ever have weeks like this? All of sudden it’s Friday and then you remember – oh shoot, I didn’t get _____________ done!
My ________________ was writing this weeks blog.
- I suppose I could have written it over the weekend.
- I suppose I could have gotten up extra early or stayed up extra late.
But then I looked at a list I keep on my bulletin board of what’s most important to me and made the choice to trust that an idea would come to me and made an agreement with myself, to not give writing my blog another thought, because…
When I glanced at my list, “meaningful connection” was shining brightly. So, my husband and I chose to have our six-year old friend overnight and spend most of Saturday taking her to our county fair (pigs, cats, horses, bunny’s – fun stuff!) and out to lunch. Very fun and then Sunday a family members beautiful wedding. Two days of soul-care – doing what makes our hearts happy!
Occasionally ‘I must write my blog’ slipped into my mental space, but I remembered my agreement and let that thought go – trusting that an idea would come.