I’m a huge music fan. I love music of all kinds, and am always looking to discover more music to please my ears. So, of course I’m a huge fan of Pandora and Spotify as a way to find long forgotten hits or to find that great new sound. Even though I love finding new bands or songs to obsess about, I do have my favorites, so there’s always a temptation to skip over a song I don’t know to find the one I can sing along to. I was doing this incessantly until my own personal playlist was just a repeat of the same five or ten songs; a perfect metaphor for how we often live our lives. We’re on autopilot, always skipping forward to the next weekend; the next holiday; the next something. Skipping over the unknown for the comfortable. So, I broke the cycle for fun.
Last week, I decided to stop the madness and listen to every song that came on no matter how compelled I felt to skip over it. I took it a step forward and decided to carry that state of mind with me throughout my day in an effort to be ever present in whatever I’m doing. I started becoming aware of when I was “fast forwarding” through other aspects of my life.
Sitting in traffic,we’re concerned with the stoplights two blocks ahead of the one in front of us rather than enjoying the ride between. At meals, we often treat each course as a perfunctory step to get to the next course instead of relishing in the flavor and texture of our food.
I’ve boiled it down to our concept of time. We never feel as if we have enough time to “achieve” all of the things we think we should. Except, time is a human defined parameter. My dogs aren’t concerned with whether or not their nap in the middle of the day will get their schedule off track. If we let go of the concept of ten minutes from now, there’s nowhere to “skip to,” and we can enjoy the moment for what it is. We give ourselves the freedom to listen to each song sequentially and chew each bite with focus.
Since my epiphany, I’ve discovered five new bands. I’ve literally stopped to smell flowers instead of walking by them on my way to get the mail. I’ve even increased my ‘staring off into space’ time (I’m talking championship star gazing) and the vibrating sense of time urgency that needlessly causes strife has waned.
I know it’s not realistic to live entirely at our own leisure, but let go of the time commitment you’ve put on yourself outside of normal living obligations.
Take your watch off on the weekends. Make no plans with set times. Stop in the middle of a task for no reason, and let every song on the radio sing to you uninterrupted.
– Your Charmed Yogi