How to Find Now

Posted by   Annette on    February 5, 2014

If you're like me, the first sign that something is amiss with you is the physical trail of incomplete tasks.

It's the open shipping boxes abandoned next to the door; the laundry left in the washing machine; the stack of receipts gathered together but still awaiting input, the teabag sitting, bone-dry, in the bottom of the waiting mug. I am legendarily meticulous, so the effect is glaringly obvious.

Look closer, and you'll see a myriad of other loose ends beyond the physical objects; naturally, when my house looks like this, so does my brain. Observe: the inbox as long as my arm; the birthdays missed; the articles unwritten; the travel logistics crowding the calendar in my head, lighting up as spastically as a disco checkerboard.

When you're up to your neck in forgotten tea and unmade calls--when your head is running months ahead of you at the same time as it lags months behind, and you're stretched as tight as a drum between them--when your body is wildly waving red flags--

you need to come back to now.

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The problem, of course, is that "now" is notoriously slippery.

The idea of "living in the moment" may be remote, but there is a shortcut. Here's how to find it:

Finish. 

Finish every task you start, before you move on to another. No exceptions. 

Don't walk away from the kitchen without the dishes done. Use your tools, and move down your checklists with gently dogged purpose. Don't start writing an email you can't complete. Limit your browser window to one single tab. Make your bed. 

This reminds your body that you are a citizen of the present space in the present time.

In the beginning, you'll rush through everything, screeching up to "done" like a drag racer. Soon -- I promise -- the cracklingly overcranked energy will smooth.

You'll find now again.

It misses you.

 

P.S. When you do this, try playing The Antlers' Undersea EP on repeat. Might help.

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photo credit: marfis75 Don't stop ( #cc ) via photopin (license)