What does “being present” mean to you?

My James and I just returned from a holiday. We stopped at an AMAZING sushi restaurant called Love Sushi & Roll in Santa Clarita.  My James is a sushi “snob” and he said that it was absolutely the best sushi he’d ever had.  (Don’t let the slow service, and strip mall atmosphere fool you!)

I was watching some of the other folks that were in the restaurant.  There were a lot of 20-somethings, and almost to a person, they were all sitting across from another person, and texting. Usually, the other person was “just eating.”

What up with that, Bond Grrls? Look. Being present (especially when eating) means putting ALL your attention on What You Are Doing! I would watch these gals woof down a gigantic PLATE of ribs or sushi or rice, all the while texting in between bites. One very pretty gal was obviously out on a date, and all she could do in between eating and answering a few questions with the guy she was with was to text, text, text!!! Aaaaugh!

Many workplaces are going to “email free Fridays.” This means you are NOT ALLOWED to turn your email on, on Friday.  The reasoning is to “get actual work done.”  (They also have “no Meeting Fridays.”) All this technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but what it does is take us away from what our surroundings are. And suddenly the bread basket is gone, or you don’t get a second date, or your work has piled up and you get a bad review, or what-ev-ah — and gee, you can’t figure out why.

There is a New Age phrase that you hear a lot, which is doing things “mindfully.” It’s just kinda weird to hear “mindful eating” — what does that mean?  What it means is pay attention to what you are doing, 100%. It also means no eating and watching TV. No watching TV, answering bills, and trying to talk on the phone. Although we all seem to think that we have way too much stuff goin’ on in our lives, what we really have is the inability to say No. AND the inability to focus and get one thing done, and then go to another.

Today, at LEAST focus on your food every time you eat.  What does it feel like in your mouth? There is a whole section of my book on this — time to go re-read it, if you have forgotten. Part of the ‘fattening of America’ has to do with eating in a non-mindful way — while driving, while watching TV, and the like.

And cut out the texting all the time. Sorry — I know, you “gotta” be in touch with your grrrls.  But the thing is, I was at a concert recently, and folks were all taking photos on their cells, sending texts that “they were there,” and the like. They were not quietly appreciating the concert, or being “present.” They were elsewhere; their minds were with their friends, gossiping through texting. They weren’t just appreciating.

Appreciating things is something that Rich Folks Do.  Yes, really. We only get 24 hours in each day, so by spending each minute, second, or each hour to the fullest and paying it full attention, you will not let it “slip” away. How many of us look up, and 3 hours are “gone” because we were emailing? Or we spend time sending texts, and miss out the movie we paid for?

Just some more thoughts for the day — but remember, texting when you have a flesh-and-blood person there with you is just RUDE, too.

2 thoughts on “What does “being present” mean to you?

  1. Yeah yeah… actually, we do get out much — TOO much (as my wallet and hips will show ya). Don’t sell Santa Clarita short, SVCTalk.com! That sushi rocked! :-)

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