I quite often miss from my sight what is here, in front of my nose. I leave the present to automatic trained behaviours and pay attention only to everything that is not here. It seems that I live many lives at the same time. For example while I brush my teeth, my body takes care of it without bothering my intelligent mind. This thinking mind is occupied with much more important or interesting tasks. So while I mechanically move a toothbrush and rub my teeth with it I am already on the road wondering about traffic, hoping that my car will not play tricks on me, I am going through five alternatives for a dinner I should have today, I am analyzing what happened to me yesterday and if I manage to do everything I have planned for today hoping not to forget all the important things, sometimes I also have an argument with whoever I have to argue. All these actions are happening during this short time I spend doing some necessary hygienic on my teeth completely unaware of the very teeth. A few minutes are packed with amount of tasks, situations and emotions that could take more than a week to happen in real time.
If I continue with this “double life” through a day focusing on hundreds of stories and ideas appearing on my mind when I do shopping, water plants, walk my dog, fry eggs, watch TV or whatever I am physically doing, I simply get exhausted, drained of energy and anxious.
I will not stop all this stories from appearing on my mind, because it is what my intelligent mind does. But I can move my attention away from it, just for a few moments, I can leave this stream of thoughts and pay attention to something else, namely to what I am doing and feeling just here, just now, experiencing consciously the present. That’s mindfulness.