A client recently opened our discussion, by recounting what had happened during his week. Seven days were reduced down to a couple of minor episodes and one which was a little more significant. He sighed, and told me that apart from this the week had ‘raced by’. He struggled to say much more.
‘I wonder if you were actually there,’ I said. He paused for a moment, then asked what I meant by this. ‘If you’re not actually there at the time, it can be difficult to recall what happened.’ He smiled and nodded his head. ‘I’ve been so busy, so wrapped up in chasing my tail, no… I think I see what you mean, I haven’t really been there.’
What if consciousness isn’t an on and off button, either existing or absent. What if your awareness of yourself and what’s going on around you is somehow gradated? It is possible to be unconscious of what’s going on around you, blank, uninvolved, unfeeling, unthinking. It’s also possible to be only part conscious, or part aware. Not fully ‘there’ or not ‘there’ at all.
Those moments of deep clarity, when you are fully aware of yourself and fully aware of what’s going on around you can be all too rare. It’s possible to lead an entire existence without any, to sleep walk through life without ever really living it.
Try this. Switch off the external distractions – the radio, TV, whatever crutch you might use to escape from yourself. Concentrate on experiencing this present moment. Use all your senses. Become aware of yourself – your breathing, how you feel, what you can smell and hear. Watch your thoughts but don’t let them carry you away. Experience this moment.
And now think that this is how you should experience every moment.
Wake up! This is it.
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