What defines the act of being mindful? Is it being present with those around us, while our minds wander to our To-Do Lists, or attending a yoga class, where we are focusing more on what everyone around us is doing than on what our bodies are trying to tell us? Or perhaps it is sitting cross-legged with our hands resting on our thighs, while we chant a low-humming “Om”?
What if we viewed mindfulness from a different perspective? What if true mindfulness was essentially not remembering anything that happens at any given moment in time? If this were 100% the case; however, we would be incapable of living in the world we live in, because being a “10-second Tom” is not exactly someone you would consider to be functional within their community.
However, what has essentially happened to the human consciousness at large is that we have been doing everything in our power to be as opposite of the 10-second Tom as possible. In other words, we want to cling and hold onto every bit of information that we possibly can, in an effort to prove that we can know everything there is to know about…well, everything!
We do this by hoarding as much of the knowledge, memories, and experiences we can keep shoved in our minds for all of eternity; however, living this way is actually reducing our capacity to grasp new incoming information because of the overload of the sheer volume of data that we are trying so hard to maintain. And let’s face it, we live in a world of information-overload.
The reason that this is problematic is because not all information is created equally; some things are worth remembering, while other things just truly are not! True mindfulness is the power of fully understanding and trusting that what is meant to be remembered will be, when it is meant to be remembered, while having the ability to essentially “forget” all of the extra noise that is not worth remembering.
If you have ever seen the 2011 movie called Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper, and if you are anything like me, your first thought was likely, “what is this magical pill, and can I have it?!” However, what we may fail to see when watching this movie is that being fully and mindfully in the present moment essentially is that pill! The scene where Bradley Cooper was talking to the girl in their apartment hallway, and was taking note of the book inside of the bag that she was casually carrying, and then connecting this book to events from a previous memory, allowing him to deduce what she was studying in school was quite frankly, mind-blowing to say the least!
However, these details are fundamentally all of the tiny bits and pieces that make up a mindful mind. Having the ability to, in the moment, actually see, and not merely see through, what is right in front of our eyes, both in the physical and metaphysical sense, is essentially having the limitless power of trusting that what is meant to stick and be remembered, inevitably will be.