||Back to Being with “What
Is As It Is”
On another morning’s walk through Central Park, I encountered a Golden Retriever who was literally chewing on a dilemma. He was picking up his old ball in his mouth, when a lovely new bright green one rolled right up to him. He decided he had to have both balls in his mouth and each time he grabbed for one, the other would fall out of his mouth. This went on for the entire time I approached and then walked by him – and may have continued long after I passed.
As I watched, I was thoroughly amused at his dilemma and empathized with his focus and perseverance. He wanted more than he could manage, but didn’t yet realize that there was no way his mouth could negotiate both balls at the same time. And, all the while, the dog who actually belonged to the new ball, stood nearby, waiting to claim it again.
The encounter got me to thinking how much we get in our own way when we try to get/have/do too many things at once. Often, when we do, we lose out on savoring the thing right in front of us, or feeling satisfied with a task well done, because we’ve got too many balls in the air at once to handle any of them with a sense of deep connection. Personally, I’m a multi-tasker, and I find that sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes I feel like the dog trying to figure out how to carry too many things in his mouth at the same time. I also think of people I’ve known who I would call multi-graspers, who are never satisfied, where nothing is ever enough – and who lose a sense of enjoyment with what they already have in this moment.
And so, for this week’s experiment, I invite you to explore how you engage your daily tasks, how you engage moving through the stuff of life. Do you tend to take on more than you can handle? Do you tend to do three things at once, and then feel overwhelmed? Do you tend to need to constantly get more in order to feel good about your life?
There’s no right answer here – just an opportunity to notice how multi-tasking or multi-grasping may get in the way of a feeling of grounded, centered connection with the present moment and/or a fundamental satisfaction, at the end of the day, in how your life unfolded. As with all the experiments, be sure to put judgment aside and allow yourself to be curious. If you find that multi-tasking or multi-grasping get in your way, allow yourself to play with how it feels to drop into the present moment, just as it is, and notice what you experience if you hang out there for a bit.