I was talking with a friend the other day that broke his right hand, and he was telling me how challenging everyday tasks were for him. So it got me to thinking, what if I had to focus all my energy and attention on small details of menial tasks, preventing my mind from wandering as it does so often when going through routine. Thus, the experiment was on.
My first task was to shower using only my non-dominant hand (my left). Have you ever tried to squeeze a shampoo bottle into the same hand? And your weaker one at that? Let me tell, you, it brings your focus to the present task immediately. As I showered, I found that I couldn’t let my mind wander to work and conversations that I was imagining would happen. It was quite refreshing to get out of the shower feeling, well, refreshed, rather than having to run to my computer or phone or notepad to make notes on all the ‘wonderful’ ideas I had in the shower. Because truth be told, most of those ‘ideas’, are actually arguments I have playing both sides, and it’s exhausting.
Second, rather than having the television blaring SportsCenter, checking emails on my phone and shoveling sustenance in at lightning speed, I decided to eat with my left hand, no television. Needless to say I was unable to do anything except focus on getting the fork to my mouth without spilling my food. There’s no way I could check emails at the same time, so I focused on masticating my food and being grateful for the meal, my teeth, my health, and a wealth of other things, not to mention, my right hand!!
The last task I attempted will go without mentioning, but let’s just say that ‘directing’ with your non-dominant hand feels a bit creepy….ewwwww….
So the lesson I learned today, if I need to stay present, because my mind is attacking me, I will use my non-dominant hand, and it’ll be all quiet on the Western Front.