In theThe Use of time, Part I, we looked at typical person in his work-a-day life, and got a sense of his dominant attitude toward time: the sense that he “didn’t have enough of it.” I said that there was an answer: mindfulness. Here we will explore what mindfulness might look like and how we might learn to practice it in our daily life.
Mindfulness is the pratice of including yourself in all the activities and moments of the day.
You can start to do this right now. Notice how you are sitting (or how you are standing). Are you collapsed or braced or have you stiffened your neck? Can you include yourself in this activity of being, balancing, and reading?
When you can include yourself for even a few minutes out of every hour, time will shift; you will experience much more of it and you will use it to much better effect.
Are you still including yourself? Did you tune out? Did you go into TIME LAPSE mode?
When we go into time lapse mode we lose time, it rushes past and we don’t know where it went. We get home tired, though unwilling to get to bed because during the day we did nothing for ourselves. All we did was work and run and deal with others. Therefore we have an empty, not very satisfied sense, that we have dragged ourselves along throughout the day. We may over-eat or have a resistance to getting to bed because “now this is MY time, at last.”
Well, it was YOUR time all day!
You will be much happier, more fulfilled, and do better work if you can learn to include yourself in every minute. Sounds preposterous? It is exactly what F.M. did for himself, and then taught all his pupils to do too.
Start with including yourself 5 minutes out of every hour you are up and about. Try this every day for, say, 21 days, and you will be astonished how transformational it is. When you take up the tasks of life with your entire self even silly, mundane things like laundry, or watering plants, or drudge office work can become a means whereby you can come into the ease, grace and happiness that is only possible when you are not dividing yourself into bits; “work self,” “homemaker self,” “friend self,” “son or daughter self.”
You may have a feeling that this is stupid, that there is no way you can do this, and other sorts of negative ideas about trying out this idea (even though what you are doing now is not leading to satisfaction in the daily round). If this is your reaction then you really will be happily surprised, because a day spent including yourself will get your energy up and efficiency up. You will also find yourself happily getting to bed at a good hour for getting the sleep you need in order to wake up happy, ready to start the next day.