When Did Life Become a Competitive Race? | Francine Toder, Ph.D.

February 18, 2015 7:43 PM

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When Did Life Become a Competitive Race? | Francine Toder, Ph.D.

Whew! My most recent hike was taxing. I slowed my pace to better manage my breathing, choosing to inhale and exhale more slowly and deliberately. Shifting the rhythm and pace helped me in at least two ways: 1) I was able to maintain my progress on the uphill part of the trail without stopping and, 2) I focused differently, taking in sights that I'm usually oblivious to, like the little brown mole peeping out one end of his dirt tunnel. Being more or less the same color as the surrounding ground provided the critter with good camouflage cover, but spotting him would have been a challenge at my usual clip. You might be thinking, "Who cares about a mouse-like rodent digging a hole?" The takeaway point is that in our hurried lives, we often miss interesting experiences.

Mindfulness is a concept that comes from Buddhist writings and refers to the process of noticing everything in real time. It includes suspending judgments and avoiding telling stories about what you see that drag you into your past through memories or into your future through expectations. It means ...

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