As I sat in the dental chair today, the hygienist told me the dentist would be a few minutes.
“Do you want a magazine?” she asked. “Or do you want to look at your phone while you wait?”
“No, thank you,” I smiled. “I’ll just relax and look out the window.”
She looked shocked, like simply sitting in a chair and looking out the window was the craziest thing a person could think to do. With all the distractions in our lives these days, maybe it is.
The hygienist, Mia, and I ended up having a pleasant conversation about the warmer weather and all the work she had to do with her garden. I told her about my foray into planting herbs on my back patio, and she told me how she loved to race home from work on Fridays to mow the lawn. I felt prouder than I should have that I chose to get to know Mia, rather than assume my typical position, with my nose buried in my iPhone.
I carried that feeling with me on the way home. Instead of stewing over the day’s work frustrations or plotting out what I had to do for the rest of the day, I soaked up the music I was playing, stuck my arm out the window, and enjoyed the feeling of the wind sliding through my fingertips.
Maybe it’s no coincidence that I received a package earlier in the day of the “Be Here Now” shirt that I ordered from Tiny Buddha. To be completely honest, I’ve never read the book by Ram Dass (though it’s on my list!). I’ve always kind of thought there’s plenty we can learn just by reading the cover, right? So with you as my witness, I’m vowing now that “Be Here Now” is my new spring mantra.
Because the truth is, while the version of me that looks out dentist office windows and drives with her hand floating in the wind seems so peaceful and zen, that’s the version of me that’s usually hard to find. More typically, I’m the woman who’s watching TV while texting while skimming Facebook. I’m the woman whose cell phone is the last thing she looks at before she goes to sleep and the first thing she reaches for when she wakes up. I’m the woman who often can’t stand sitting still for more than a few minutes without biting at a cuticle or picking at a split end.
I can blame it on the nature of my job–it’s definitely not unusual to find me writing a script, making a graphic, and talking to a reporter at the same time–but I know that the “Be Here Now” concept is tough to grasp for most of the people in my life. Who knew it would take so much work to embrace silence, simplicity, or merely focusing on the task at hand?
So starting today, I will savor silence. I will pursue peace. I will Do. One. Thing. At. A. Time. (Gasp!) I will wake up and give myself a few seconds to stretch before I even THINK about checking my email. I will enjoy nature. I will give people my full attention. When I inevitably fall back into my old habits, I will lather, rinse, and repeat.
This is the spring of “being here now.” And while I’m at it… maybe I’ll even pick up some Ram Dass.