Some time ago, I was eating at the Twin Dragon in Mitchell with my daughter Sofi. We were laughing and talking about school, friends, and teachers when a young boy and his mother sat down at a table close to us. As soon as they sat down, they each took out their cell phones and began texting and playing games. Throughout their meal, they were so absorbed with their phones that they exchanged only a few words with each other. They ate quickly and left.
Seeing this family’s disconnect reminded me of how easy it is to become distracted in today’s world. Endless choices compete for our attention. iPhones and computers allow us to choose worldwide contact day or night. You must choose an entree from many menu options. You might pick a box of tea from twenty or more on the grocery store shelf. Will you put away phone or check your facebook page during a conversation with your mother? Every day offers a plethora of unending options.
This constant stream of choices can cause a disconnect to the present moment. We must consciously choose to stay connected to our AM (activity of the moment) or PM (person of the moment) because the mere “ping” of a text message can grab our attention away.
These days, IPhones and computers give us a connection to each other, but we seem to lack connection with each other. We can drive and chat on our phone without experiencing the scenery around us. We can talk with a friend while checking out groceries without acknowledging cashier. We can eat dinner with our family while texting friends. Multitasking causes us to lose our connection with the present moment.
Just for today tuck away your cell phone and consciously interact with your now moments. While grocery shopping, be engaged by noticing the colors and the sounds, and activity that surrounds you. Say ‘hello” to fellow shoppers. Listen deeply to your conversations. Pay attention to words as well as the facial expression, the intonation and feelings behind those words. Look into their eyes and give them your full attention.
Consciously paying attention to your person of the moment will enhance your connection. Concentrating on your activity of the moment will allow you to savor everyday experiences.
“When you take your attention into the present moment, a certain alertness arises. You become more conscious of what’s around you, but also, strangely, a sense of presence that is both within and without.”