Monday, August 1, 2011

Staying Conscious

In Today's Daily Om article, Staying Conscious Staying Grounded in a Big City or Busy World, the first step is, 1. Live simply and live deliberately.

I read the statement and thought, "Oh, I need a cup of coffee. I'll get it deliberately." I got up from my desk and moved towards the office door with the intention of making each step count. Of noticing the rug beneath my bare feet, the feel, texture, the blister under the mound of my big toe that I got when I walked in sandals in the heat. I reached the hardwood. The feeling of each step changed. Cool, smooth, slippery.

I moved down the hall, got to the bedroom door where C.C. and Ellie still sleep. My mind leaps to thinking about brunch today with friends. "Must grab my cell phone in case she calls so that its ring doesn't awake C.C."

I go into the bedroom, all thoughts of staying conscious evaporate as I smile at Ellie curled up with C.C.

I pick up my phone from the bedside table, move back out of the room to the hallway and remember, stay conscious.

"Oh right. Make each step count."

And so it goes. In the space of five minutes, walking from my office to the kitchen and getting distracted by a side trip into the bedroom, my attention veers into oblivion with the speed of a 'pond skater' (that's of the bug varietal not the human) flitting across the water in search of lunch.

It is so not easy to stay on task when the task is 'staying conscious'.

And just to prove my point, as I was thinking of comparisons for my conscious awareness, the image of the pond skater came into my mind. I couldn't recall what they were called and got distracted again and took off in search of knowledge. Did you know those bugs that flit in dizzying squares on the surface of the water in the Northern Hemisphere -- Southerners you may not relate -- hibernate during the winter? And they can run on water at speeds of up to 1.5 m/sec? They've got many names -- water bugs, water skeeters, and Jesus bugs. Wonder who thought of that name. Must go check. No! Stay conscious.

This staying conscious is not so easy. I am in and out of being present with each moment.

I start again.

Back at my desk, I consciously think of the feel of the keys on my keyboard beneath my fingers. I hear the click. The different sounds each key makes as I press it. I move one foot from the extended leg of my chair where it was resting to the wooden box I keep beneath my desk to keep my feet elevated (I'm relatively short -- I have lots of tricks to make sitting at a regulation height desk work!). Outside the open window, I hear a crow caw. Another bird tweets. Wonder what it is? I'll just go.... No. Stay present. Right. I see a woman walking along the sidewalk on the other side of the street outside my window. I hear the sound of her shoes against the concrete. She passes from view. I stop typing and take a sip of my coffee. I listen to the sound of the foamed milk. It fizzes. Like champagne bubbles. I taste the acrid taste of coffee mixed with foamed milk. The warmth slides along my tongue, down my esophagus. I breathe deeply. Feel the air move into my body. I feel my pulse slowing. My thoughts widening.

Ahh, this is better.

Another bird sings a sweet song outside. A young woman walks by in the opposite direction of the first. She's smoking. I want to run outside and tell her. Don't do it! Stop!

My mind leaps into full motion.



Slow down.





This staying conscious takes conscious attention.

And that's only 1 part of Step 1 of 10 steps to Staying Conscious!

To find out for yourself all the other steps (I did say it wasn't easy - you'll have to do some work you know!) click HERE to read the rest of the article.

And in the meantime, I'm off to meditate and contemplate how I'm going to spend my day staying conscious!

Have a good one. It's a holiday here in Canada. Heritage Day -- time to appreciate the people and events that made our nationhood grow.



Maureen said...

Fun post and a link to an excellent post. Give yourself kudos. If more of us made these 10 steps part of ourselves, the world would be so much better.

Louise Gallagher said...

Thanks Maureen! And you're right -- we all need to live more simply and deliberately to create a better world.


S. Etole said...

The concept of multi-tasking doesn't seem to appear on his list!

How much there is to be enjoyed when we take the time to notice.

Fi said...

Great post and I love the link - I've added it to my favourites.

Thanks for sharing

Claudia said...

i think living simply is an important key...always try but never really managed...way to go....