15 of 100 – Get Off Your Phone and Pay Attention
I firmly believe in being full present. If you read Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now" or William Shannon's "Silence of Fire: The Prayer of Awareness," you'll learn volumes on the topic. Both were recommended to me by my late spiritual advisor and Capuchin monk Fr. Phillip. He opened me up to these meditative concepts and practices.
To me, being present is like increasing your aware of what you see in you peripheral vision. (Try that a second.) Then expand that to all your senses. You ignore your constant mental banter worrying about the future and rehashing regrets in your past. It's a physical discipline to one extent, but it encompasses your entire being and your emotional and spiritual center. I want to see and become consciously aware what all is around me. It's very settling.
Then of course you look over to me and I'm staring at my phone. All of my being is intensely focused on what's going on there. My phone is my god.
I'm a contraction. Becoming more consciously aware is something I know I need. It would be a major blessing to me, my family and everyone around me. I would be more in tune with people's needs and especially my wife's. My stress levels would be reduced.
There are times when I do this right and I see the benefits. Then again my natural tendency is to look to my phone, check my email, troll Facebook for important information (right!).
I'm in a constant battle. I'll figure this out. Wish me luck.