Build Upon. . .
The true tragedy in most peoples lives is that they are far better than they imagine themselves to be and, as a result, end up being much less than they might be.
We simply take too many things for granted, we have efficiently removed the mind and our abilities to utilize its power from the equation. Don’t believe me?
There is a looming chasm between what your brain knows and what your mind is capable of accessing. Consider the simple act of changing lanes while driving a car. Try this: Close your eyes, grip an imaginary steering wheel, and go through the motions of a lane change. Imagine that you are driving in the left lane and you would like to move over to the right lane. Before reading on, actually try it. I’ll give you 100 points if you can do it correctly.
Like almost everyone else, you got it completely wrong. The motion of turning the wheel rightward for a bit, then straightening it out again would steer you off the road: you just piloted a course from the left lane onto the sidewalk. The correct motion for changing lanes is banking the wheel to the right, then back through the center, and continuing to turn the wheel just as far to the left side, and only then straightening out. Don’t believe it? Verify it for yourself when you’re next in the car. It’s such a simple motor task that you have no problem accomplishing it in your daily driving. But when forced to access it consciously, you’re flummoxed.
The lane-changing example is one of a thousand. You are not consciously aware of the vast majority of your brain’s ongoing activities, nor would you want to be – it would interfere with the brain’s well-oiled processes. The best way to mess up your piano piece is to concentrate on your fingers; the best way to get out of breath is to think about your breathing; the best way to miss the golf ball is to analyze your swing.
On one level our mindfulness is very valuable to our lives and days, but what we fail to grasp is the bigger picture – that through our mindfulness training we can trust our natural talents, skills and efforts more – we can become more natural in all efforts and our life in general. We need to trust this, but remember trust is developed and often requires some groundwork – presence and mindfulness are just such foundations to build upon.
Peace and Love, Jim