Imagine you are on your way out the door. You are on your way to work, you are running late, and you can feel the stress coming. Your three-year-old, who still hasn’t managed to put on her snow suit, has found an empty cardboard box, which she happily pops on her head and shouts “You can’t find me!”.

What do you do?

Being and doing:
Being – see, hear, taste, smell, feel – to be present.
Doing – analyse, judge, plan, compare – to be in the past/future.

We can’t have one without the other; we need to plan our meals for the next week, or where to go on summer vacation this year. The trick is to find a balance between being and doing. Children are great at being. They are focused on what they are doing right now, and have no concept of time, or that they need to be somewhere. As adults it is very often the opposite, you focus on what you have to do, or what you didn’t manage to do.

The next time you make a cup of coffee or brush your teeth (or something else you do on autopilot), try to pay attention to what you are doing. Follow your movements, listen to the sounds you are making, and notice how the coffee, toothpaste or shampoo smells. How does it feel? And how do you feel?