Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Being Here

Mindfulness training has taught me to not hurry from one thing to another.

But how can we slow down when we live in a world where getting a lot done is what it's about? Where getting there first seems very important? Where we're judged by our many accomplishments?

I've found that I get just as much done when I take my time because I make fewer mistakes. And that's because I'm working with less pressure, less stress.

I once drove fast and aggressively to get somewhere, anywhere. And often I ended up angry and stressed, angry at other drivers. Then I read about an interesting experiment a few years ago in the Arizona Republic.

Department of Public Safety supervisors assembled two teams of pursuit drivers. The teams drove from the West Valley to the East Valley in the Phoenix Metro area at rush hour.

One team was to obey all the laws. The other team was to drive as fast as possible, ignoring speed limits and traffic laws.

The outcome: the team that broke the rules arrived 15 minutes ahead of the other team. Not a big difference. And someone asked afterwards what "someone would do with that extra 15 minutes?" I've never forgotten that line.

The sadness of being in a hurry is that we're not here. We're somewhere else, off in a tentative future. And once we get there of course our mind is on the next stop, where presumably things will be better.

But that never happens because the future is a fantasy place where we think things'll better better. But they're not better because the future we hurried to becomes a now where we're looking forward to what's next.

Let's live in the moment and not waste our lives.