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Instead of making my usual list of New Years Resolutions, this year, I chose one word: Present.

Over the past 30-some years, I’ve discovered as least one important thing about me: I’m apt to multi-task to the extreme. I’ve been known to write a term paper while sitting on a conference call, checking my work email and making a shopping list. I’ve been known to read a book while driving. If there was some way to read, drink coffee, watch Duck Dynasty, talk with friends and crochet at the same time, I would be all over that.

One frequent flyer in my past New Years Resolutions program has been “be more grateful.” This year, I simply chose “be present”… and oddly, an unexpected companion to being present is gratefulness.

Crochet teaches me a lot about being present – the feel of the yarn between my fingers, counting my stitches, moving my hands, looking at where I place my hook.

While my mind can wander, it can’t wander too far or I end up pulling out my rows and starting over (especially when I’m making projects that require counting). Crochet teaches me to sit quietly and concentrate on the project. Crochet teaches me that I can focus through distractions. It has enabled me to move into a place where being present is actually a possibility for me: I have already begun to train my mind.
I used to consider “excellent at multi-tasking” a strength of mine, but as I focus more on being present, I find that multi-tasking is becoming less of a strength and more of a crutch. It’s not so much a time-saver as insurance that whatever I’m doing will not be done wholeheartedly. This is my life and so many times I have spent it splintered, trying to be in four places at once. I spend too much time thinking about what I should have done differently, or planning what I need to do next; making lists and daydreaming.

This year is about living my life in one place: wherever I am, being there.

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3 thoughts on “week 1 – lessons in being present

  1. Pingback: being present…6 months in |

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