Missing Out

Jon and I met as usual, this Monday morning, to check in, brainstorm, and co-create this blog. I kicked us off the way I often do, presenting a vast concept deeply in need of sculpting into a 3-minute package. And that’s how Jon and I got into an energetic debate about a sip of coffee. Seriously, you need to hang out with us, our conversations are just sizzling.

Ahhhhh…. if only I had actually enjoyed it!

What was with this sip? Picture this: I’m at my laptop, alternately entertaining thoughts about my impending meeting, scanning emails, shuffling written detritus and pondering my assignments for the day. As I’m mentally flitting around in this way, I notice my hand. It’s reaching to replace my half-filled coffee mug onto my desk. I just catch onto the fact that I’m swallowing something. In that late instance, there was a feeling, a recognition of “auto-pilot”-type moment. No sense of thirst, no conscious decision to take a little pause and refreshment, just boom! before I knew what was happening, the sip was done and swallowed. I missed it!

There’s no need to make too big a deal out of missing this particular pleasure. There are plenty more sips where that came from. Still, there’s an insidious something here with vast implications. I have seen what it’s like when I “dial out” of the coffee moment. There’s a clear sense of loss, and a sobering question follows. How many of my life experiences am I actually “here” for, meaning awake to, clearly present for? And when is it otherwise,  drifting or skittering around, directionless, in that virtual realm I call my mind? Quality-wise, it’s like the difference, if you’re thirsty, between looking at a photocopy of a glass of water versus actually taking a drink.

Find your coffee sip-style moment today, and discover for yourself when you’re actually here and whether you’re missing out. ~ Margaret


8 thoughts on “Missing Out

  1. I know that feeling – the one where you realize the only time you’ve been outside all day is on the walk between your car and your workplace. It’s in that instant that I realize I’m outside and I need to just stop, experience the fresh air, listen to the sounds around me and appreciate the moment and the sensation of being outside, even for a second. Of course, watch for cars in the parking lot too. All too often I’m on autopilot missing these moments. I think the word “savor” should be used much more often.

  2. Funny, I am reading a book called “The Power of Habit, Why we do what we do in Life and Business.” One published paper by a Duke University researcher in 2006 found that more than 40% of actions performed by people each day were not conscious decisions, but mere habit! The good news is that habits can be changed, if we choose to understand how they work… It is all in the choosing!

  3. A wonderful reminder of missed moments, Margaret. One recent morning I reflected on the evening before and realized I had tuned out of the world watching TV all evening. I felt deep regret at what I had missed by not being tuned in to the world around me. The regret subsided as I realized the awakening to what had happened was like unwrapping a present – I could look forward to the opportunity to be more tuned in this moment and the next.
    There are times when tuning out will be what I want. However, now I am more cognizant of the opportunity to make the choice to tune in or out and not just tune out absent-mindedly.

    • Yes, of course, the mindful choice to dial out if it’s the best option available. One teacher I know calls this Mindful Distraction. Very good added point, thank you!

  4. so easy to be on autopilot, we miss so much, gotta remember to spend more time in the moment, without “making a project out of it” as my teacher would say! I’ll start with this moment.

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