Posted by: faultlessfinish | January 9, 2012

Being Here

Obvious statement of the week: We are overstimulated. Last week, my goal was to be truly present when engaging with others, whether in person, on the phone, or over email.

I’ve always considered myself a fairly good listener, but since I’ve made an effort to be conscious of how present I am in social situations, it’s clear that my mind is a lot busier than I gave it credit for.

As a freelancer, I am accountable only to myself, and in turn, my clients. Therefore, it’s vital to be able to focus on work and shut off all thoughts that don’t serve the task at hand. Freelancers are still only human, however. We are bound to get distracted. As I’ve written about in previous posts, one of the best ways I’ve found to stay focused is to work in chunks of time and take periodic breaks. E.g., Work steadily on a task for 50 minutes – no interruptions – and then get up and walk around for 5 minutes.

With practice, I’ve become fairly proficient at managing my time through this focus technique. What about in social situations though? When on the phone, I’ve always had the urge to multitask. So many things to do, so little time – why not kill a few birds with one stone? My mind races with my mental to-do lists.

But doesn’t that person on the other line deserve your full attention? Yes. Yes they do. Think of the conversation as a task to be focused on.

So when on the phone last week, rather than sitting in front of my computer clicking away at email (which also deserves my full attention) or puttering around the kitchen, I made an effort to sit on my couch and simply look out the window while on the phone. My conversations were much more involved, and I didn’t feel stressed out when I hung up.

I also found that by being truly conscious of when my mind wandered when speaking with someone in person (and then gently bringing it back to the present), I walked away from the conversation happier and more relaxed. It’s not hard to tell when someone isn’t truly listening to you, so make that effort to truly be interested in the other person; he or she will walk away feeling more fulfilled as well.

The hardest person to be present with, however, is yourself. Meditation forces you to shut your thoughts off and be with yourself, but it is often a constant fight to stay in the now. That being said, the more  present you are with yourself in a quiet moment, the easier it is to give of yourself with friends, family, and clients. Give yourself the same respect you would others.

This week’s goal: Be conscious of negative words.

My song of the week: “It’s Real” – Real Estate

Namaste 🙂




  1. So true, so hard to do!

  2. Also, a song I’ve been loving lately: Lana del Rey’s Video Games.

  3. Thanks for the recommendation Sandra! I really like the song – such a cool voice 🙂

  4. You’re coming up with so many very positive but manageable goals. I can’t wait to hear more!

  5. Thanks Rose! I learned the hard that setting lofty goals and expecting to meet them immediately is a recipe for disappointment – small steps to an eventual life-changing goal.

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