21. May, 2019

One thing at a time...

You know how your internet browser slows down or falls over completely when you have too many tabs open? Have you ever noticed that your mind does the same thing?

We're constantly told that multi-tasking is a valuable skill and it is... up to a point. It completely shuts down mindfulness though, doesn't it? I know we all have a million things to do each day. I've found from experience that when I focus on all those things instead of just one, I become scattered and demotivated. And then... I get nothing done.

So maybe we should go back to the foundation. Remember how your parents used to tell you to do one thing at a time? I seem to remember being told that. It's not just sound practical advice. It's sound spiritual advice too. The path to spiritual awakening or enlightenment is decorated with thousands of ideas and it's just human nature to want to explore all of them. It becomes overwhelming though. We become terrified of missing some profound wisdom and, because we're trying to pay attention to everything, we are unable to gain deep knowledge of anything.

The beauty of the spiritual path is that the wisdom we need to be shown will come to us no matter what. So why not focus our attention on one thing at a time. Learn it, learn to love it and suck all the joy and wisdom from it that you can and then move on to something else that catches your attention.

I suppose it's a bit like building a house. You can't throw a thousand bricks in the same direction and expect to have a dwelling but you can lay each one carefully and eventually you'll have a home, a haven.

I suppose mindfulness comes down to exactly that... focusing on one thing at a time, in each moment. And truly savouring the experience. Maybe today is a good day to start. And maybe, if you do, then tomorrow will hold more promise of joy.