Process versus presence

Last night I had a mini-epiphany. I thought peanut butter and celery sounded good (I’m funny that way) so I fixed myself a few pieces and settled in to watch my current favorite show. I munched on the celery fairly mindlessly. It tasted good. It hit the spot.

But then a thought bubbled up: “I’m focusing on the process of eating, not the content.”

I was aware of chewing; aware of the crunch of the celery; aware of the saltiness of the peanut butter. Aware that the celery sticks were disappearing quickly.

I wondered how my experience of eating the peanut-butter-and-celery might be different if I were truly present, focusing the awareness available to me in that present moment on what I was doing, rather than plowing through the process of eating.

This idea of process could apply to anything. Am I focusing on the process of driving to work, or am I fully present as I drive to work? Am I focusing on the process of our morning meeting, or am I fully present to all the people, energies, and ideas in our morning meeting?

It’s an important distinction, I think. And one to be present with–not just to process. đŸ™‚

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