Thanks to our implicit memory we can perform our routine tasks, walk,Driving, even eating with our attention set on our own thoughts.
It has happened to us all more than once to drive to a point and not know how we have reached our destination, or what exit we took; Or not remember part of the journey made because we were absorbed in our thoughts.
It enables us to have quick reactions in conflict situations and to keep us safe in emergency situations.
The usefulness of this pilot-automatic is not in doubt.
The problem arises when the autopilot is our constant way of working, in many cases we are not aware of being using it and, therefore, we can not disconnect it in moments in which we would have wished to have all our attention focused on what we were doing. Our thoughts govern our head and we are caught in a vicious circle of self-criticism, past issues and future expectations without being able to fully appreciate the present moment.
What happens when what we need is to respond in a leisurely way, with a broad perspective, without being led by emotional reactions and instinctive thoughts instead of reacting?
When we practice Mindfulness or Mindfulness we can break that vicious circle of thoughts, allowing us a brief but important time span to choose how to respond. In order for the information to be processed by the prefrontal cortex of our set rather than being governed by our Amygdala.
Mindfulness focuses all our attention on our primary experience of the moment, aware of what is happening around us and the way we experience it inwardly, observing our thoughts and ideas as perishable events without identifying with them. With an open mind like a beginner's, without judging our surroundings or self-criticizing us, immersed in that moment through all our senses, allowing us to "BE" instead of the continuous "DO" (so fashionable in our highly competitive society ).
That's when we get to fully enjoy that special moment in which we eat our "favorite cake" instead of gobbling it up and leaving only our full attention to the "last bite" when we realize that we are running out !!!.
With Mindfulness is when we are fully aware of our behavioral habits, of what our reaction to certain events, what thoughts seize us, what emotions arise, how we perceive it in our body. It is then that we "ACCEPT" the experience in its fullness without trying to flee or struggle not to experience it.