The last time…

I was talk­ing to a dear friend a cou­ple of days ago and we start­ed to dis­cuss about how he retired from being an emer­gency doc­tor. This con­ver­sa­tion was fas­ci­nat­ing. We were dis­cussing about how my friend’s dad also said noth­ing to any­one about the last day he flew as an air­line pilot… and this con­ver­sa­tion got me think­ing… a lot!

I start­ed to remem­ber the last time I did cer­tain things… my last day in cer­tain coun­tries, in cer­tain hous­es, in cer­tain jobs and much more! It was very very inter­est­ing. We build con­nec­tions, we build friend­ships, habits, we enter a cer­tain lev­el of com­fort… we grow into places and places grow on us… peo­ple… process­es… life… 

Specif­i­cal­ly this con­ver­sa­tion start­ed around retir­ing… but real­ly it start­ed to make me think about the moment. 

We use this “last time” to become aware of a moment, often times we even use this “last time” to ignore the moment, our feel­ings and just move on. But, in my point of view, the aware­ness of the moment is real­ly impor­tant. Being aware not only of the last time, but to actu­al­ly be aware of the moment you are in… that you are living!

One of my favorite things to do near my school in NYC (in TriBeCa) is to walk towards Bat­tery Park, sit at a bench over­look­ing the Hud­son Riv­er and take a moment… a few sec­onds, maybe a minute or two… to just expe­ri­ence being alive. This is what I do and what I rec­om­mend that you do… you don’t need to have an amaz­ing scenery, any­where will do… even at your office sit­ting on your work chair…

Sit down in a real­ly com­fort­able posi­tion. Make sure that you are not going to be dis­turbed for the next 2 to 5 min­utes… close your eyes and take a moment to notice your breath­ing… take a few slow and deep breathes… the rhythm is not so impor­tant as slow­ing the speed, slow it down and try to use the full capac­i­ty of your lungs. Breathe exclu­sive­ly with your nos­trils. After a few cycles of breath­ing, keep­ing your eyes closed it is time to move your focus of atten­tion, from your breath­ing to your hear­ing. Start to pay atten­tion to the sounds. If you are on an open space, begin to hear the sounds of nature, the wind, birds, etc. If you are at the city or your office pay atten­tion to the sounds of the envi­ron­ment, lis­ten to the click­ing of key­boards, to peo­ples’ voic­es, to the sounds of cars, the sound of fer­ries and helicopters. 

Don’t rush…. you only need one or two min­utes (a max­i­mum of 5) doing this to take in and become aware of every­thing your sens­es are capturing. 


Most impor­tant­ly, take the time to remem­ber being alive and enjoy the moment!