This past weekend I, along with some friends journeyed to the Mohonk Mountain House, in New Paltz, NY, Once there, we basked in the beauty of the nature that surrounded us, and spent most of our time "doing nothing" / sitting and enjoying the present moment. The yoga, meditation, and stretch classes we took enhanced our deep appreciation for being there, relaxed, and fully present.
We played board games, drank tea, and sat on numerous couches the had fire places close by…
Looking back on this experience, there were two important lessons I learned:
1. Balance: Multitasking vs. Uni-tasking
Over the course of the weekend, I felt more present and relaxed there than I have in a while. I think that’s probably because when we did something, we did ONE thing. I didn’t realize it then, but looking back I know that was one of the reasons for the presence and relaxation I experienced.
So often we do more than one thing at once, so I left with an intension: To spend more time doing one thing at a time. It’s been a few days, and so far, so good.
Try: Balancing multitasking with uni-tasking (I may of made up that word). Choose a slot in your day, (it can be one minute! Or an hour! Or more! Or less! – It’s up to you) where you will practice doing ONE THING AND ONLY ONE THING. Give yourself to it fully, and see what happens. From my experience, if you practice this daily, it will enhance your creativity, productivity, relationships, and overall quality of life.
2. Wonder: Making The Usual Unusual
During my time away, I became fascinated by the barren trees/their branches. There were so many different kinds/shapes! Everywhere we went, and every view we took in, there they were, the trees, and their beautiful and unique branches! Branches unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.
Now I know you might be thinking… branches? Who cares about branches… but these very branches taught me a very important lesson. These very branches have changed the way I have been going about my day... and so I am so grateful to those branches.
After spending so much time around the trees, my first day back in New York and I couldnt stop looking at the trees as I walked to work. I always walk the same way, yet never noticed and appreciated the trees and their branches in the way that I did that morning, and continue to do. It's amazing how experiences make us see things in a completely new way, and can spark and unexpected form of wonder. (See post on cultivating Wonder)
Try: Paying attention to something you never paid attention to before! Find your own form of “Branches!” Try looking at the usual with a new set of eyes, making it an unusual experience.