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Wednesday, 09 March 2011 09:21

Losing My Mind(fulness)

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I don't forget appointments. I'm one of those people that is always on time, if not early. That is, until recently. Now I'm someone who forgets appointments. I'm mindlessly busy. Who am I and where is the Dina that has been with me for the past 40 years?

A few weeks ago, I left my friend Liz patiently waiting for me at a coffee shop. She texted me 15 minutes after we were supposed to meet just letting me know she was at the coffee shop (which I thought was a very nice way of saying, "Where the heck are you?"). Oops! I was at home working and had no recollection of our date, even though it was right there on my calendar—one click away from the computer screen I had been working at all day. Unfortunately, this wasn't a one time thing. Several times in the past month I have had Skype dates with my mom and she would call me 30 minutes before our meeting time asking me why I was not online. I told her we had said 3:30pm, not 3:00pm. But then I checked my calendar and sure enough, I was the one off by 30 minutes.

None of these events were obviously enough of a wake-up call—until yesterday. Yesterday, I got the message loud and clear. I was supposed to pick up my friend Christy to take her to Bart so she could catch a train to the airport. She texted me 10 minutes after I was supposed to pick her up asking me if I was on my way. Nope, I wasn't. I was working at home with a million things on my mind and just as many that I wanted to accomplish in the day. Despite the fact that she had only asked me two days prior and that it was on my calendar, there was no recollection in my conscious mind of this important pending appointment.

I flew out of my house and ended up having to make the hour drive each way to the airport because the train was no longer an option for her not to miss her flight. What would have been a 40 minute diversion from my packed day became a two hour time commitment. Do you see the irony? My busyness actually took time away from me. I finally heard the wake up call—I was so busy that I was losing my mindfulness.

It's like Oprah says, "The universe is always trying to get your attention. Sometimes it starts out—any major problem you encounter—as a whisper. By the time it gets to be a storm, you've had a pebble knock you upside the head; you've had a brick; you've had a brick wall; you've had a house fall down. And before you know it, you are in the eye of the storm." I didn't hear the whisper and I'm not quite at the storm yet, but I think forgetting to take Christy to the airport was definitely a brick hitting me.

We all have so many demands on our time and so many things to get done in a day. How can we manage it all and still keep our sanity? Try taking five minutes at the beginning of every day, whether it's in bed or while drinking a cup of tea. During the five minutes, try to do these four things.

  1. Review your schedule for the coming day.
  2. Take a few deep breaths.
  3. Set your intention.
  4. Just be.

Some ideas for setting an intention for the day could be to have fun, be mindful, be grateful, be open, or be happy. For more on why breath is so important and how to deep breathe properly, read Just Breathe.

I'm busy, but not so busy that I can't take five minutes of every day to properly begin it. (And, for those really important appointments, I plan to set a pop-up reminder on my calendar or post sticky notes on my computer—at least until I get my mind back).

What changes can you make to not lose your mind(fulness)?

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