Be With the Real
by Rick Brenner
When the stream of unimportant events and concerns reaches a high enough tempo, we can become so transfixed that we lose awareness of the real and the important. Here are some suggestions for being with the Real.
In 2009, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christa Quam holds her puppy, which was to enter the military working dog program a year later at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The dogs are trained in explosive and drug detection, deterrence, and handler protection. This image shows clearly that the dog is right here, right now, so infectiously, in fact, that Sgt. Quam is, too. If you know a dog, you've probably also noticed how fully present they are, and how rarely they fall out of that state, as long as they're awake. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force, by Senior Airman Christopher Griffin.
For many, this time of year is one when we're especially vulnerable to being caught up in the unimportant details of Life. We can become so involved with the trivial that we become unaware of the important. By "involved with the trivial," I mean, for example, fretting about not having been invited to the right parties, or being obsessed with finding the perfect decoration for your door.
In themselves, these fascinations do no real harm, but they can prevent us from appreciating what we do have — the parties we did attend, or the less-than-perfect but still beautiful door decoration we did find. Even so, involvement with the trivial can limit our ability to attend to the more important parts of Life — a perfect evening, an enjoyable time with friends or family, or even the sense of well being that comes from being healthy, from being alive, or from giving.
Here are some suggestions that can help to bring you back from involvement with the trivial, to help you be with the real.
- Listen to your breathing
- To be with the real, start with yourself. Our breathing is easy to notice, yet we rarely do notice it. Try controlling it. Long and slow, short and quick. Deep or shallow. Be with your breathing.
- Feel your own heart
- If you can find a still, quiet place, notice your heartbeat. If you press the heel of your hand up against one ear, you can feel and hear your pulse. You truly are alive.
- Seek Nature's sounds
- Even in a This time of year is one when
we're especially vulnerable
to being caught up
in the unimportantcity, you can hear Nature above the din. Birds are everywhere. The wind rustles leaves or whistles over bare branches. But for a stronger connection, seek a place away from human sounds. Listen to the music of life on Earth.
- Sit on the ground
- Sit, but not on anything made by a human. Grass or a rock or log if that's more comfortable. How does it feel to let Earth support you for a time?
- Touch the sky
- Well, you can't touch the sky physically, but you can notice it. Notice clouds or sun or stars or moon. Did you know the phase of the moon before you looked?
- Make contact with someone
- Make contact. Reach out with a smile, or a tweet, or a hello, or a witty remark. Is the effect stronger when the other person is someone you've never met? Or is it stronger when you make contact with someone close to you? Can you make contact with a group?
Most important, make contact with Now. Often we lose touch with what's happening right now because of a preoccupation with what was, what has been, or what is about to be. Make contact with Now. Know where you are. Know who you're with. Be with the Real. Top Next Issue
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Forthcoming Issues of Point Lookout
- Coming April 1: Creating Toxic Conflict: Part II
- Some supervisors seem to behave as if part of their job description is creating toxic conflict among their subordinates. It isn't really, of course, but here's a collection of methods bad managers use that make trouble. Available here and by RSS on April 1.
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