I attended a free Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction which is defined as a moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness. For me, a Type A who is rarely in the present (never mind the moment), and mostly in the future, I thought it could be very helpful. Who isn’t multitasking? We hope some of the tasks are mindless and can get accomplished on ‘autopilot’. However, if you look at the two dents in both my husband’s car and mine, it’s easy to see that driving is not one of these mindless, multitasks. I realized this after I talked to my teen about what time she was coming home, while simultaneouslypulling out of the driveway and into my husband’s car (oh, by the way, this is the second time in 2 months). My husband, whom I know is only thinking about safety, thinks I should get my license taken away. (You should see his face when I assure him that it only happens in the driveway, and not on the road, as if $2000 worth of damage each month is nothing to be worried about.)
Needless to say, I am someone who can greatly benefit from focusing on the task on-hand at the present moment. As I once explained to my daughter, I could be doing a special on CNN live (which I did), and all of a sudden instead of thinking about my response to the question asked of me, I’ve instead asked myself, “Did I pack my daughter’s lunch before I left?” (I only wish I were kidding).
Most of us are not in the present, but thinking about something else. Making our minds aware of staying in the present by acknowledging and dismissing negative thoughts while we try to focus, is exactly what I’ve been thinking (but not practicing) for many decades: the human brain is like a computer and if we can rid the negative emotional thoughts that come onto our ‘screen’, and try to focus 100% on the task at hand, we will be happier, healthier, and more productive. The negative emotions are what separates human thinking from machine thinking and it is primarily why I have been advocating for the non-biological brain for nearly 30 years. I’m not saying to ‘delete’ negative thoughts; just to acknowledge their existence without any energy. Can you imagine a day without focusing on being sad, depressed, rejected, angry, etc.?