Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Day 24. MultiTasking Can Make You Absent

Women have become queens at multitasking. For years, it's been touted as a good way to 'manage' your time. Although we've mastered the ability to juggle numerous tasks simultaneously, I've come to realize that there is a downside to it all. While I may be getting lots done, I've become aware that most times I am not completely present to any one activity. Half here, half there.

Living in the present is being totally aware of your activity with all your senses. It's enjoying the moment in the moment. It's also being aware of what you are thinking about, and how you are feeling. Your whole being is present.

I have on occasion browsed through my mail or a catalogue while chatting on the phone, only to realize that in zoning out for a few seconds, I've missed part of the conversation. It's a little hard to respond with heart-felt enthusiasm or empathy when I don't really know what's been said.

My friend, Leila, once commented, "When we don't give full regard to the moment, it's cheating the hearts of two people." It's true. Both come away with less.

When I realized that, I decided to make a change, even if I get less done in a day. In my desire to walk in kindness towards people wherever I go, I've been working at developing the heart skill of 'being present' to the moment, to be with the person in spirit as well as body.

Even in the grocery store, I want to leave a fragrance of kindness by noticing the whole person, not just the hands packing my purchases. I try to make eye contact and smile at some point during the transaction. It makes me feel connected, and I often see a smile on the cashier's face too as I'm leaving.

I am reminded of Mother Teresa's words, "Don't worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and help the one nearest you." To me, that also means being present to the one that's in my presence. When you are talking to me, I want to listen with my whole heart, not just with my properly-smiling face. I don't want to be thinking about the meeting I have with someone else in 15 minutes. It's choosing to love the one nearest me right now.

"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do...but how much love we put in that action." I like this thought, also by Mother Teresa. It's not about how much we get done, it's about how much love we've put into it.

Here's to being present... to our work, our lives, our loved ones. It's a more beautiful way to live!

Gracefully yours,


  1. Hi Brenda I shall try to send a omment again. Your statement is so true. When one doesn't listen to the person talking it leaves them with well guess I am not important, or worse yet I am not loved enough for you to share some time with me. I have talked to people who do they are thinking about forty nine other things they should be doing and who else
    they have to talk to , every person they see walk into where ever you are at the time. I don't bother with those people after a half dozen times of trying.

  2. Rosalie,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment.... and to share your thoughts about your own encounters with people who haven't yet learned the graceful art of being 'being present'.


  3. Hi Brenda. I hope it's ok for your little brother to comment, even though I know your primary audience is women! ;)

    I've gotten into the habit that when I have someone in my office, I try not to answer the phone, especially if the person has gone out of their way to make an appointment to see me. It's kind of funny to see the look on people's faces when I let the phone ring. Some eventually say, "Don't you need to answer that?" To which I say, "No, you had an appointment." I think in those cases they are usually shocked to know that a phone call doesn't automatically preempt their time.

  4. Hey DG,

    You are always welcome to comment!

    I was interested to hear your own experience....and it is funny that many of us seem to have the idea that a phone call is an allowable interruption, even when time has been set aside for the individual sitting in front of us.

    I want to think that your action of not answering the phone must add a certain sense of well-being to that person, as it signals and acknowledges that his 'concerns' have weight and legitimacy in your eyes.


  5. ya Brenda, now I am all excited that I finally got on your blog comments, like the one your little brother (ha ha how little)
    sent. The telephone has such an affect on people that they just have to answer it. One has to fight off the desire to run to that there phone ringing. Your messages will affect people's lives positivly and help them to see how to live better and treat our fellow man with kindness. We need all the kindness and love we can get and send the way the world is going right now.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo