Mindfulness, a Wallet, and a Car Key

lost28n-1-webJust when we think we’ve got life all figured out, we receive a tap on the shoulder or a smack in the head to wake us up and tell us to pay attention.

Recently I was dealt a few smacks on the side of my head that ended up being gentle taps on my shoulders. Let me just say that it wasn’t pretty, but it could have been a lot worse. In the past month, I’ve lost (I prefer to say “misplaced”) my wallet and my car key, and not at the same time.

As a yoga and meditation teacher I spend my days talking and writing about all things regarding mindfulness — a way to notice if you are paying attention moment to moment, on purpose, with kindness.

In fact, I’ve dedicated my professional life to helping people develop practices that help them to move, speak, eat, and live more mindfully.

By practicing mindfulness we cultivate the capacity to experience moments in our lives more fully. We show up to smell the roses, so to speak. We also learn to move and speak more slowly and deliberately, connect with others more deeply, and tend to be more focused, clear, relaxed, steady, and joyful.

One would think that if I spend most of my waking day teaching mindfulness practices, I would be uber-mindful myself, right?

I’d like to tell you that I float through life like I’m walking on rose petals and that I’m perpetually cheery and patient.

Well, the truth is, I’m not. In fact, I’m often just the opposite. Let me explain.

On any given day my to-do list hovers around thirty items and includes what I call “big rocks,” like writing an article, prepping for a workshop, connecting with a Verge Yoga teacher, or responding to an email from a student. The list also includes a load of pebbles such as replacing my license (what a pain) or making a dentist appointment.

My recent acts of mindlessness have made me realize three things:

  1. Carrying big rocks and pebbles with me wherever I go makes me impatient and careless.
  2. Big rocks and pebbles will continue to regenerate themselves.
  3. I don’t have to carry them on my shoulders or in my hands 24/7.

Losing my wallet and my car key are big inconveniences, but they’re not tragic occurrences. In reality, my wallet and key are easily replaceable. While at first I thought misplacing these items were smacks on the side of my head to be more mindful, both situations were actually gentle reminders to put down some rocks and pebbles, reduce the speed at which I am moving through the world, and to even stop and smell the roses.

Comments 4

  1. I can totally appreciate your experience. I own a business as well, and my to-do list is overwhelming at times. I was baking a recipe and put everything together and placed it in the oven, only to find the eggs sitting on the counter. My only thought was ughhh…where was my mind? It was time to take a break and slow down! It happens to all of us. I stopped, enjoyed an iced tea and regrouped. I wouldn’t have allowed myself a break if I hadn’t made that mistake!

    1. Post

      Claudia, I love this! It’s so liberating to let the world know when silly stuff like this happens. I spent the morning at the DMV getting a new license. I wouldn’t have taken that break if I hadn’t lost my wallet! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Cara we all misplace things. . I can’t tell you how many times I have locked myself out of my car! I would look and look for those keys. .. ohhh and then sigh as I see them through the window in the key ignition. .. yes I call them ” Blonde Moments “. It seems as we age and try to run out business, our family, and everything else we tend to misplace things along the way 🙂 You are not alone!

    1. Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.