I just gave a heart health awareness month talk at my workplace. I discussed my case and the changes I have made in my habits. Someone asked, how do you keep from getting bored while exercising? I learned that when I walked with an iPod in my ears, especially when I walked with the dogs, I was anxious and irritated. I would be in my head, lost in the music, then my dog would chase a squirrel, and I would be awaken from my somnambulist trance. This seemed so counter-intuitive. So went without the iPod. I was more aware of my surroundings, the dogs, the sounds around me, the crunching gravel under my shoes, the wrens roosting in the sycamores. It occurred to me that I was in fact absent. It wasn’t the dog’s fault that I was irritated, it was my mind set. I lost the iPod and found focus. My dogs were my teachers. So now, when I exercise or am alone or have time to reflect, I pay attention to things and people and noises and sights and other things that catch my attention. I became aware of this ancient idea of Mindfulness from Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book, “Where ever You Go, There You Are.”
When I was younger, I used to play tennis with my mom and her lady friends. We would play and her mind was far away…occupied with mom things. She reminds me how I used to say, “Mom, be here.” Oh how easy it is to see it in someone else. My daughter helps me with that. We have this favorite movie, “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist.” If you haven’t seen it, it is worth a watch. Below is my favorite line from the movie. Spoiler alert, it is from the end of the movie. It characterizes the sentiment quite well.
Norah :Are you sad we missed it?
Nick : We didn’t miss it, this IS it. Come on, you wanna go home?