16 of 100 – Become Amazingly Self Aware
I've referred to the writings of Eckhart Tolle and William Shannon before. They go way deep into this concept. Both have short books, but are not ones to read in one sitting. You sip them like wine savoring and exploring each paragraph.
Shannon tells the story of a Brit having dinner with an Indian friend. (Of course it's the Western guy screwing up and the Easterner giving advise.) The Indian is getting up to do dishes before serving dessert. The Brit tells him, "No worries. I'll do the dishes. You get dessert." Makes practical sense, right?
Well the Indian guy says "No." He tells him, "I will do the dishes to do dishes. You will do dishes looking towards dessert." I'm paraphrasing here and getting the dishes done and dessert service are incidental. It's a story illustrating this awareness.
I know when I do dishes (and I completely hate doing them), I'm thinking about getting it over with. I'm wanting to do something else. I'm not experiencing the wetness, the water temperature, the different textures, the odors of the food and soap. I'm not listening to the sounds of the water, the clanking dishes and flatware, the noise of the trash disposer.
The is so trivial that I brushed passed it the first time missing it's message. As I've reread the story, the message has come clear. Where is my head at anyone time? If I'm honest with myself, it's not in the moment. It's somewhere else. And in that somewhere else I have no power to take action.
Note to self: You only have power in this present moment. Get that, please.