If you’re crusin’ then you’re loosin’! That’s one way to look at what happens if your grey matter is not fully engaged. So what’s going on up there when you’re just sitting, passively contemplating…nothing in particular? Have you ever noticed how your thoughts resemble popcorn? Thoughts jump randomly from one topic to another with no obvious connection. It may even seem like some sort of serendipitous place to be, as it rarely leads to the negative. How can that be known? Ahh…well personal experience of the writer is a great place to start.
Consider how many things you do on complete auto pilot? Are you thinking about your driving on your way to work, or shopping? How about the way you fry eggs, or toast bread? A good case can be made that the subconscious has taken over when you’re doing those things. That allows your thoughts to actually wander. The question is what happens to your thinking? You know, conscious thought? Yeah, that stuff.
If the mind is not actively engaged this simply means you are unaware of what’s really cookin’ in life. Lost in the past, possibly in the future, but hardly in the present moment. It could be said you are out of touch with reality, and that would be correct. Not quite the same as if you’ve lost your mind…not quite.
Then comes the sudden stop in traffic where the subconscious reacts and warns you of impending danger, jerking you into an alert state of mind. Sort of like taking a video off pause as you barely escape a serious fender-bender! The adrenaline is flowing, heart’s beating faster and your mind is present and accounted for. But what about those moments where it was absent from the present? How dangerous is that?
What might be a little more disturbing to the person who actually explores this, is the affect on life in general. If you are disconnected in the present, or as some would say not in the moment, what are you missing? How boring is life when you would rather be disconnected? You’re not even aware there are roses to smell.
Do you think this is rare? If you are actually engaged reading this without letting your thoughts wander, you will begin to recall people you know that always seem to be in somewhat of a daze. Sure. Stop and think for just a moment who they might be (just not while driving thank you). Got one in mind? Would you say this is a person you are likely to spend significant time with? There’s a good chance the answer might be in the negative, because they are very uninteresting.
Could you even be in a relationship like this? Now that may be hitting a little too close to home, but consider if it applies? Do you ask your significant other what they’re thinking? Or is the potential answer a little too frightening? Especially if it’s not about you. Then again, what do they think about you? When was the last time both entered into a serious, thought filled discussion about likes, dislikes, disgusting habits or favorite ones?
Over the years things change. Unfortunately couples get into the habit of finding a comfort zone where both can co-exist in some semblance of what appears to be peace. The one fine day one or the other explodes as that comfort zone suddenly is not so comfortable. Instead it has been a breeding ground for some minor dislike to fester into a life threatening wound. There is a quote that claims, “A comfort zone is a wonderful place, but nothing ever grows there.” As to anything positive, that may be a very true statement.
So get in the “brain game!” Start using yours for something besides a place to house your favorite baseball cap. You might be surprised what a deliberate effort to stay in the moment will change in your life. Allow yourself to stay focused of your surroundings. You be the one who captures that viral moment on your cell phone to go on youtube! Notice the ones walking towards you in the corridor or on the street that look you in the eye…and smile. How many of those have you missed? What a difference one smile can make in your day. Be that smile for someone else. Are you smiling?
Listening to Al Hirt, thinking about how hard it was to play trumpet when you don’t practice!