That’s what “The Fat Man,” a.k.a. LTC (Ret.) E.V. Adams, director of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band use to tell us before we began our practice sessions and then on Saturdays when we did “The Drill” before thousands of football fans. I remember to this day, how I would meticulously remember each step, six to five, I would take, where I would turn left or right or where I would countermarch. Precision military marching.
Stephen Covey said, “Start with the end in mind.” Fr. Richard Rohr, like so many mystics of all faith traditions, calls it “mindfulness” and/or “contemplation.” Some behavioral scientists call it, “Being in the present.” The opposite of all of the above is just cruising through life with no intention, no direction, lots of chaos and on a good day, some successful crisis management.
As I look back over my life, I realize there are many times that are just a blur. That’s not because of a poor memory. It’s because I was so busy doing life, I forgot to live. I was focusing on what had happened, especially the hurts and affronts I “received” from others or I was planning my revenge. Yes, gentle readers, I have stooped to such base levels on rare occasions!
My Psychodrama mentor, Dorothy Baldwin Satten, Ph.D., use to say, “If you don’t change direction, you’ll wind up where you’re going.” Wisdom indeed! My casual observation of our contemporary society, especially those who have not yet arrived to their mid fifties, is quite similar to what I experienced in that part of my life, only they have so many electronic detractors to enhance the process of avoidance.
Want to have a better spiritual life? WAKE UP! Quit self medicating with busyness, substances, electronic brain suckers, replaying of old hurts and failures. Be in the now. Give yourself, and others, the gift of silence, reflection, planning, preparation and contemplation. And if your response is, “I’m too busy,” you are.