Thursday, November 5, 2009

Be Here Now: Waiting for the Light to Come On

With the time change back to Standard Time over the last weekend, I needed to make sure all the lights on timers came on at the right time.  So yesterday I finally got around to checking the light in the living room.  It is on a special timer that automatically adjusts the "on" time everyday based on when the sun sets.  Before I bought this timer, I had no idea there was actually a consistent schedule that the sunset followed each day, day in and day out, every single year.

So I headed out to the living room a few minutes before 5 PM and waited for the light to turn on.  At first, I just stood there because I was certain I wasn't going to be there for long.  Then I started getting tired from standing, so I started to pace back and forth.  I felt myself getting really impatient, so I walked over to the light and started turning the switch to see if the timer had gone off but the light was in the wrong position.  Despite these efforts, the light was still off.

Now I felt really frustrated.  I was about to say forget it and walk away when I reminded myself this was my "Be Here Now" experiment for the day.  So the first thing I did was sit down.  Then I took a couple of deep breaths.  Next I focused on relaxing.  The combination of these three actions helped me regain my composure.  I decided that I could sit there, quietly, focus on my breathing and wait as long as it took for that light to come on.  Once seated, my cat Bastet came over to keep me company while I waited.

In my mini-meditation state, I was quiet enough to here the click of the timer coming on.  But there still was no light.  Turns out all the fidgeting I did with the light switch during my impatient spell resulted in the light getting switched off.  Calming down and relaxing helped me be present to hear the click and become aware of the problem.

In the end, this whole experiment took about 10 minutes.  Initially amazed at how antsy and impatient I became, I realized later it was because I began this exercise standing.  Standing still is a very difficult position for me to maintain, one which I know increases my fatigue. When I switched to sitting, which is more energy conserving, my whole body was able to relax and my mind was able to focus on the task at hand.  I think this is an important lesson for me about how body position can affect me physical, mentally and emotionally. 

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