Close your eyes.
Don’t think about the past or anything on your to-do list.
If you meditate or do mindfulness practice on a regular basis, you are well used to this. The attempt to be in the moment and really experience the here and now to calm your mind.
If you’re like me, an overly, maybe even obsessively, organised human, a “human doing” rather than a “human being”, it is extremely difficult to switch off. No question, it is specifically us who require mindfulness and meditation practice.
If you know me, you might know that the simplest of things will be turned into perfectly orchestrated events.
Meet at the pub for a pint?
I will consider what day of the week it is, what time we are planning to meet. I might even get there an hour early to make sure to beat the crowd and grab the optimal table for the occasion of the meeting. I might have checked the menu, reserved a table, I will have considered the walk from public transport being used by all attendees of the meeting. What will the weather be like? Is there a football match on that might draw a noisy crowd?
If you don’t know me, or don’t know this kind of organisational obsession, you’ll probably be shocked now. Yes, people like this do exist.
But I have to emphasise the sheer joy it brings me, when a plan comes together, just like Hannibal in the A-Team.
The question remains. How can someone like this ever really switch off and live in THIS moment rather than fine-tuning upcoming future events?
The answer: I don’t know!
Do I have to?
Something I often explain to people that are baffled or even complain about my enthusiasm for planning, is that I do this so that I can enjoy the here and now later. I know this sounds weird and maybe doesn’t make sense right away.
Let me elaborate. If I plan ahead of a weekend trip to the city, for example, and I make sure to know where the hotel is, what the best restaurant options are and maybe even what dish I am going to eat, I will spend less time having to figure that out when I am actually there, AT that place, IN that moment. And so having a more effective trip away as I am able to use my time efficiently.
Planning ahead helps me to really indulge in the experience of the place and not having to waste time with research and decision making.