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Photo credit: Sree_ / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

One reason I like to do a retreat at the monastery every few months is because I need to slow down. It is easier to be mindful of my breath, my surroundings, the way the sun cuts through the trees, and aware of God in a beautiful and quiet place. Instead of leaving the monastery and its silence behind, I decided to take it with me. I have decided to single-task instead of multi-task. I have decided to be mindful of my choices moment by moment. I have decided to choose to slow down here and now so I can be present.

I chose to do this for one week, and over the past few days I have noticed that I don’t feel as fractured and as split when I single-task. My entire self remains intact throughout each day. I am whole-er. I am no longer spread into five hundred tiny parts. When something comes to mind while I am driving or while I am making dinner, I notice it, put a little, mental sticky note on it, and tell it I will pay full attention to it later. The moment I am in is where I am, and I cannot spread myself into two tasks that span this moment. And it is making all the difference.

I am claiming my time and my space. I allow myself to check my email while I do nothing else except breathe. I fold laundry and complete the task before I move on to something else. I think this might be radical self-care. I may not be as productive as I used to be, but I am happier, more present, and whole-er. I can sit in each moment, look around, enjoy the view, and then decide what I need to do next. I am not here to rush. I am here to be open and to do what needs to be done, all with a spirit of mindfulness. I see God in more of my moments–even while doing things I don’t enjoy. I feel God through my breath. I feel present in something bigger than I am.

I hope to continue another week full of single-tasking. I will let you know how it goes…

Photo credit: Sree_ / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND