Yes. You read that correctly. Zombie woman walking. I'm not pointing to the psychotic need to chew on humans that Zombie's are known for. I am pointing to the mindless existence from one thing to the next.
Do you ever arrive somewhere and have little memory of getting there? Or have a whole day go by and can't remember what all you got done that day? Or be so focused on what is next that the current moment passes with little register on your brain?
I've really come to notice how much time I spend in the past and the future. Living that way wreaks all kinds of havoc on my experience of life.
I come by it honestly. I am certain I was born a planner. Being anal retentive on top of that makes for an extraordinarily planned and efficient life. Add in a propensity to be extremely hard on one-self and we've now layered in replaying the past. My mom loves to tell stories about me not wanting to be late to pre-school. Pre-school! So between natural wiring and life experience - replaying the past and especially focusing on the future is my go-to habit.
The payoff is that I am not surprised by much, I make exceptional use of time, and not much falls through the cracks. The cost is that I'm often worrying about what is next, I am disappointed when things don't go to plan, and I miss out on being present to the moments happening now. The missing out on the now, strikes the hardest for me. All this work to live an adventurous, loving, fun, courageous life and if I am not mindful, my zombie state will never notice the adventure, love, fun, courage, community, that exists in this very moment. Not someday in the sea of planning.
So what is a zombie woman to do? Take on practices that build a muscle around being present.
- Notice the Details. For example, the other day I was removing the skin from an avocado. Typically my head would be somewhere else. This time, I took note of the color, how it felt, all the things I love eating avocado with, how great it is that I get to consume an avocado. That might sound tedious and in all honesty I kept having to bring my thoughts back, but it is a baby step to building my muscle around living in the moment.
- Breathe. There are countless studies, articles, and books on the power of intentional breath work. In the past I did not give much stock to this. After all, I was planning for the future "who's got time for that shit". I have found now that taking even thirty seconds to close my eyes, breath deeply, and ground myself, brings the present into focus.
- How Present Am I? At any given moment through-out the day, I'll ask myself "How present am I being?". If I notice I am feeling anxious or my brain is racing, I'll ask that question. It allows me to take an honest look at where my focus is and bring myself back to my commitment of enjoying the moment. Which is essentially enjoying life.
Even writing this blog post I practiced these. Left to my own devices I'd have stopped writing this and gone to check four other things. I would have zombied my way through writing. I would have gotten hung-up on perfection. And the list could go on.
So, you incredible woman - do you relate to zombie woman walking? Try out the above practices. It may feel foreign and silly at first, but so did walking or talking or yoga (especially yoga) or math.
Have an incredible week! Or rather, an incredible moment. Over and over again.
Love & Laughter,