A while back I posted a question on the blackboard at Dauntless: if you could have a super-power, what would it be?
I didn’t answer it then. I guess I couldn’t decide, really. I think maybe now I’ve answered it, at least for the time being. (Can we switch superpowers, as life’s demands change? I choose yes…)
Back in November I committed to a daily practice of meditation. The first thing I discovered is that I had forgotten how to sit still.
Fueled by my natural curiosity combined with an impressive dose of Puritan work ethic, I trained myself to go non-stop from wake-up to bedtime, day after day. Habits being what they are, that’s what I did. For better and for worse, it turns out. (It was fun while it lasted.)
Working from the assumption that meditation involved sitting, I sat. Fascinating – the total body vibration I noticed when I practiced sitting with the intention of being still and focusing on my breath. Resisting the urge to jump up and do something was much harder than I expected.
In the midst of the effort, I wondered; “Why is this so hard?” One of the answers that came to me: I’m afraid I’ll miss something.
To be clear, this is not the kind of “fear of missing out” that drives social media consumption. I have my own personal brand. Mine is the kind that loves an idea when it arises from within, and fears it will be lost forever if I don’t act Right Now. And since the river of my mind is rarely still, therein lies the challenge for me.
So, there’s the Superpower I thought I’d like to have. I’d like to be able to be two places at once. One sitting and receiving the benefits of meditation, while the other continues running around acting on every thought.
Turns out I have that Superpower, and I’m actually quite practiced at it. I can be two places at once; one place in my physical body and another place in my mind. Not always a bad Superpower, right?
What I’ve recently discovered – while sitting – is that this so-called Superpower is also my wrecking ball. Spending too much time in my mind at the expense of my body has it’s limits. I’m not paying (close enough) attention to the real house I live in, the vessel that carries me through this life.
So the Superpower I’m cultivating now is to be only one place, fully present. To not be two places at once, which I am already highly trained at being.
And I’m pretty sure I’m not missing a thing.