¬†My buddy Gus, reminding me that nothing is more important than this moment…
Sometimes things happen that send us into a tail spin and at the end of it, we realize that we either said something or did something or acted in a way other than how we might have if we had remained in the moment.¬† When I have these discussions with people and they ask the proverbial “What was I thinking?” question in a moment of reflection, I say simply: “You weren’t.”¬†
Indeed our thinking brain can disengage when highly emotionally charged situations present themselves.¬†¬†That’s one reason why we know that when someone is told that their job has been eliminated, it is not useful to go into any in-depth explanation of outplacement services being offered and what that means to them.¬† While they can hear and see that someone is speaking, they likely will not remember what is said, much less digest the information in any meaningful way.¬†¬†They aren’t there.¬† They are elsewhere.¬†¬†The moment is sacrificed in a¬†cloud of all kinds of emotions.¬†¬†In the language of emotional intelligence, we say that the individual has been “hijacked.”
The quote that reminds us about yesterday being history and tomorrow a mystery doesn’t let us down; it reminds us that spending time and energy on anything other than what’s in front of us at the moment fails to serve us.¬†¬†And the other that assures us that worrying gives us something to do but gets us nowhere is its useful cousin.
We are human and that unfortunately will entail falling back into the inevitable space¬†of fight or flight that are sure to leave us with varying degrees of regret.¬†¬†But regrets are only figments of our imagination.¬† There is no such thing unless we say it’s so, unless we insist on¬†dragging the past into the¬†present moment, remember?¬† It’s a choice, so we can create our own little antidote to escaping or lashing out.¬† Mine is to breathe.¬† One breath of diaphragmatic breathing is more beneficial than 30 shallow breaths; it gives you a moment…this moment, where you can make a new choice, one that serves you rather than causes you one more second of useless¬†regret.