Before leaving for the event, when I slipped out wearing shorts and a tank top, and then re-appeared in my beautiful, midnight-blue gown, my friends called me “Cinderella”. And I truly felt transformed! I was very aware of how beautiful and confident I felt when we arrived at the Nixon Library and as I basked in complements throughout the evening. I was also very aware of my surroundings. I noticed the displays, the smells, the lighting from the sun coming in through the windows, the roses in the outside gardens, the flags in the long hallway, the lighting in the dining room, the layout of the rooms, and how beautiful everyone looked all dressed up.
As I spoke with several people that evening, I kept my smart phone in my purse with the ringer off and focused on being present in every conversation. That was not easy given the many distractions, even without my smart phone. The photo above shows me engaged in one such conversation. In fact, I was so engaged that I didn’t even realize that the photo was being taken! By maintaining eye contact, I was able to focus on the person with whom I was speaking and I learned some very interesting things!
The point is that by going into this event with the intention of being present, I was more aware than I otherwise would have been and noticed things that I otherwise would probably not have noticed. And by not scanning the room to see who else was there or checking my smart phone for messages, I had deeper conversations, made better connections, and actually learned some interesting and valuable things. And because I noticed so much more, I am likely to remember even more about this special event than I otherwise would have remembered.
If you’ve ever been someplace or experienced something, and later don’t remember it, maybe it’s not because you have a bad memory. Rather, it could be because you were not present. How could you remember something if you didn’t notice it in the first place? Be present and notice your life.