Many of us function in autopilot mode, which means that you perform countless actions without thinking consciously about it. Let’s face it: how often have you walked out the door, locked it as always and only when you are fastening your seatbelt thought ‘Did I actually lock the door?’ Functioning on autopilot makes you feel as if you aren’t available mentally... as if you’re sleep-walking.

The autopilot hits when repeatedly performed actions are no longer of any interest to your brain. And so your brain decides to go for a walk. While you’re shopping, your brain is wondering about a conversation with your boss; while you’re in a meeting, your brain is busy planning next week’s party.

When you closely observe your thoughts, you’ll notice that only rarely will you do something and be really aware of that action at the same time.

How often does it happen that while you’re peeling potatoes you are really concentrating on the action of peeling potatoes? When was the last time you focused on your hands performing this familiar act, feeling the texture of the potato skin, appreciating the highly complex movements of your fingers? In other words, how often do you give yourself some space to actually experience the peeling of a potato?

The autopilot is the opposite of awareness.

When you operate on autopilot, unaware of all kinds of experiences and moving from one shallow moment to the other, life simply turns grey and starts to become tasteless and dull.

But as soon as you turn the switch and experience everyday life with awareness, you instantly put an end to the gloomy grind. Then life will blossom as never before, offering its original colours, fragrances and tastes in all its magnificent glory. Be aware and fully conscious in everything you do, from attending meetings to suffering the flu; from shopping to showering.

Awareness of what you’re doing while you’re doing it is the essence of living life with full attention for the experience of this very moment. From the minute you grasp this concept, you can fully open your eyes and your life will be more interesting than ever before.

 

This teaching is part of your Karma Kickstart e-Programme