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The Habit of Mindfulness

As if we weren't at risk enough before "Smart" phones came on the scene (let's face it - we

haven't really "seen" posted signs since before 1978), now we are hovering around the gray - and dangerous - area of not being aware of our surroundings. While in them. We might have a flashback later during dinner or when our head hits the pillow, but the "being in the moment" movement has taken a huge hit. I am glad my mother, Ram Dass, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are not here for the pandemic and the rampant mindlessness that we have undergone in the last few years.

We are or will soon be vaccinated, the pandemic is beginning to wane, Spring is here, and people are still looking at their phones while walking the dog and strolling under the gloriously-blossomed trees that are just now sprinkling their white, pink and purple-hued petals upon our Twitter-muddled heads. This does not bode well for humankind.

What to do? Well, don't call anyone and complain. (Is anyone even answering phone calls anymore?) Don't text anyone and complain. Don't even write about it. (Let me.) First, take hold of yourself, and stop it. Stop the behavior. Set a goal for yourself to not take your phone out with you when you walk or run outside. Ask yourself two questions: 1) Are you a brain surgeon on call? (We used to say this a lot in the eighties.) Fine; take your phone with you. 2) Are you a Realtor? (They are hopeless.) Fine, take your phone. It's already glued to your tired hand anyway. If you answered "no" to either of these questions, leave your phone at home. And don't even start with me about how you need your music when you run/walk. Any trainer worth their salt will tell you to not listen to music when you train.

Second: enjoy the experience with all of your senses. Listen, smell and look - notice, count and recite at least four signs on your journey. I'm not talking about signs from God or signs from your guardian angel, higher power, or Marianne Williamson. I'm talking about actual signs like "no left turn" or "no jamming allowed." (A sign posted in my guitar store due to Covid.)

Third, (if only to follow the belabored triplicate-trinity-triad rule for everything under the sun): breathe. This is your creative brain-time. We are here on this Earth to create. Create your reality with every walk, with every run, with every cycle and hike. Write a song in your head; write a sonnet. Become so excited about a phrase that you find it easily becomes a mantra until you get back home to write it down. With a pen.

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