Are you texting or nexting?
11th May 2017
One day I was sitting in a traffic jam in a city in the UK, which let me tell you is a common thing in my country, when I noticed to my left on the pavement a woman walking along and texting.
Nothing wrong with this of course, and there is no judgement here of the woman, as most of us do this, but what I also noticed is that she was leaning forward and rushing. Which again most of us do.
Walking and texting is quite a common sight in most countries nowadays and may not be a cause for concern. However, maybe because I had nothing else to do but I started to ponder on this. It was not the texting that was most remarkable thing but the fact that she seemed to be leaning forwards, almost leaning forward into the future.
I pondered the word texting, a strange word when you repeat it to yourself. But then the word nexting came to mind. Not only do we spend time texting, but also nexting.
This means our attention is rarely in the here and now but what is coming next…we can be so easily lost in the future. I think most of us spend most of our time nexting. Next implies the future, that which is to come, but not here yet. If you pay attention and are honest with yourself you will notice that most of the time you are nexting. When we are not then often we may be lost in the past.
I don’t mean that texting is wrong or bad or anything like that. What I mean is that a lot of our activities are done because we are incapable of being in the present. We are slaves to doing.
Many people come to me about the cause of stress and I must say the cause is very simple.
We have too many thoughts in our heads telling us all sorts of things need doing. These thoughts are constantly pulling us out of the present moment. If you don’t believe follow the short exercise at the end of this anecdote.
One of the exercises I give to my students on the courses I run is to notice during the day when you are lost in nexting. Then I ask them to bring their mind back to the present moment to whatever they are doing in the here and now.
A lot of them are surprised at just how much they live not only in their heads, which is where it appears that thinking takes place, but in their thoughts about the future and the past.
Put down this book and sit quietly with eyes either open or closed. Now just sit and don’t do anything. Don’t text, don’t read, no need to plan, no need to reflect on anything at all. Just sit and observe what happens. Be honest with yourself. Notice after a while the urge to think about something, anything but just being here and now in the simplicity of this moment.
Observe the thoughts, feel the impulses and urges to get up and do something. See if you can last 10 minutes.
Tagged as: Suryacitta
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