Gretchen Rubin

In which I realize that I’m having trouble staying “mindful.”

I’ve been working on my mindfulness. Hmmm…but HOW?

I’m trying to stay more deeply in the present moment, to savor the seasons and this time of life, to stay focused on NOW rather than constantly fret about the future.

Current scientific studies show the benefits of being mindful, and certainly great religious leaders and philosophers have emphasized its importance. It’s hard for me to do, however.

For example, I just can't bring myself to try meditating. Meditation holds zero interest for me -- which, I know, probably means that I'm in all the more dire need of it. Ah well.

But just yesterday, I had a strange mindfulness (or rather, lack thereof) experience.

We’d spent a cozy family weekend together, mostly involving going to children’s birthday parties (four in three days!).

But last night, after the girls were both in bed, and I was heading to my desk to check my emails, I had the sensation that I was zooming back into my body and my life.

It was as if I were returning from a two-week trip. I felt as if I hadn’t seen any member of my family for many, many days. The very hallway in which I stood seemed fresh and unfamiliar.

It was very, very unnerving. If I was just getting back home – where had I been? I felt disoriented.

I have to think that this experience was somehow the consequence of not being mindfully present for the weekend. I hadn’t felt particularly distracted or preoccupied, but maybe I was just off in some other zone – and then got yanked back solidly into my life.

Weird. A good reminder of the importance of mindfulness.

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Lots of useful and thought-provoking material at the Ririan Project.

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