Getting off Autopilot

Ever see the Adam Sandler movie, Click? The idea is that an architect is given a remote control that allows him to fast forward through the parts of life he'd rather not experience.  The thing is that he finds he can't control it and winds up fast forwarding through much of his life.

I can relate.

I can get in a mode of 'getting stuff done' then wind up someplace wondering how I got there.

My guess is that this has happened to you before too.

There is concept in yoga of 'focused attention.'  Consider that  however focused we are at any one thing, the more energy gets concentrated into that thing.  (This can work for good or bad.)  A part of focused attention is also about being in the moment.  Not thinking about the past or planning the future. Just being fully present in the here and now.

I ran across an interesting post by Dr Joe Flanders on Wandering Minds, Focussed Attention and Well Being.  He writes....

"Mindfulness can help cultivate better focus, it is about more than that. It is about being awake in life – being aware of the impact the quality of our attention has on our experience. The study by Killingsworth and Gilbert supports the ancient principle that attention in the present moment is a key to happiness. Our ability to think about things other than the present means that we can waste all kinds of time ruminating on the past or worrying about the future. Meanwhile, life is passing us by. But staying present in the moment doesn’t necessarily mean keeping a sustained, narrow focus on one object of attention. Letting our attention be guided by the flow of stimuli in nature – what Mindfulness people called “choiceless awareness” – is another excellent way to be present in the moment. In fact, the research reviewed here suggests that cultivating that choiceless awareness may actually help us to concentrate and remember things at work later in the day."
This week, my mind has been a varitable pen of ping-pong balls.  Too much to do. Too much to create. Too much to take care of.  Today is week 3 of our 'sabbath experiment' which means I will have the great luxury of time to check out this 'choiceless awareness'.  It actually sounds fun.

(And maybe a few ping pong balls will fall out.)
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall