"Where did I leave my keys?"
When we lose our mindfulness -- meaning our complete presence and attention to the task at hand -- it feels like we're losing our minds. When we're in the shower, we're thinking about a conflict with a work colleague. When we set down our keys, or park our car in a parking garage, we're already on to the next task and don't notice where we left them.
There are many routes to recultivating the mindfulness we all once had as children. Here's one path to follow that will also lead you back to your missing car keys:
+ Build awareness. Start noticing when you are mindful or when you've lost mindfulness -- jot it down in a notebook or create a notes page on your cell phone.
+ Set a goal. Think about what percent of the time you are mindful, fully awake, and present in the moment. Perhaps you're at 50 percent. Where do you want to get to and by when?
+ See the present moment as a gift. Appreciate it. Or stop to take a few deep breaths and focus on your breathing to slow down your mind.
+ Practice becoming mindful. For example, "This week I will be mindful about where I put my cell phone. I will take a few seconds to consider where to store it in my briefcase or pocket and to notice when I'm placing it. Next week, I'll work on my keys. The week after, my glasses. Then I'll fully enjoy my first cup of coffee or savor a small piece of dark chocolate in the late afternoon."