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Last week a woman was reportedly killed when she slammed into another car on the road. Authorities believe she was posting to Facebook how much she enjoyed the song “happy” at the time.
Yesterday I started to put a flash drive in my computer. It didn’t seem to want to go initially so I gave it a little extra push. It went in. And the screen went black. The computer would not turn on again.
This morning after I dropped my son off at school I was sitting at the entrance to my subdivision waiting to turn in, waiting for several cars to pass. The entrance is just after a blind curve. In the rearview mirror I saw a car coming around the curve very quickly fighting to slow down and avoid hitting me. Fortunately, I was awake and had a little extra room so I rolled forward a bit to give him more room. I noticed after he came to a stop he appeared to be picking things up from the floor board that had obviously fallen due to his abrupt stop.
Please don’t misconstrue that I think my two events are remotely comparable to the first tragedy. But the common link is that in the first two examples the intended plan not only failed, but it ended future plans in a flash (no pun intended regarding the computer). Fortunately for all, in the third case I was alert and present.
We all have in mind a strategy, a goal or a destination. We develop a path or a plan to get there and we can see it in varying degrees. We don’t normally work into the plan a provision for the crash, car or computer. But unfortunately, we often don’t take the time to be mindful in order to work in the provision for it not to happen.
What would have happened had the woman thought about the fact that she was driving and it was more important than letting her Facebook friends know about her musical preference?
What would have happened had I stopped and thought that it is not normal for Flash Drives to have such difficulty entering a USB port?
What would have happened if I had not been paying attention this morning at the entrance? Or if the other driver had been?
There is a saying “there is never enough time to do it right the first time, but there is plenty of time to do it over again and again.”
The art of Mindfulness is about slowing down, noticing the nuance of the ordinary both within and externally. It is a practice that must be cultivated to be effective. It is not only something one does, but something one is or becomes.
Is there anything you are neglecting or taking for granted simply because you are not aware? If you knew that your lack of awareness would cause it to change drastically for the worse, what would you do differently? Imagine playing the tape forward of the undesirable outcome. Then play it a second time in slow motion with a posture of mindfulness. You still have that opportunity.