Two things at once – learning presence.






Have you ever tried to do two things at once? Generally it’s not the best idea.

It’s been half term this week. October days of orange, red and brown leaves and warm amber light,  busy week, with parents-in-law staying and my little one off school and a business to grow.

I had a call with a coaching buddy and we had talked about the importance of doing what I want to do and leaving all the rest. The idea being, that when you follow what you most want to do, you follow your North Star and you get to where you are meant to be getting to in this one sweet life of yours.

I learnt in this week that I couldn’t ignore the needs of the other people around me. I couldn’t decide to lock myself away and play with the laboratory of business creation and learning about coaching that I so enjoy.

Stories about a dog called Claude and ‘Dixie O’ Day and the Haunted House,’ had to be read and a packet of apple and blackberry pies bought because someone had a hankering for something he used to enjoy at this time of year. The dog didn’t walk itself either.

So then I got into a pattern that I have seen in myself before and one that maybe you’ve had happen to you.

I thought maybe if I could do more than one thing at a time, that would be better.

I could walk my dog and take my daughter to the park.

My flat-coated retriever was happy to be out and about but then had to wait with me outside the park while my little one played. Other mums and children were in the park playing together. There was one girl on roller skates holding on to her mum’s arm as they circled the park and one family with a brother and sister who wanted to fight and were continually being told off by their mum.

My dog was sitting amongst the Autumn leaves waiting for his ‘big sister’ to finish at the park.

I left him with his lead around the gate and helped my daughter on to the monkey bars which she is so proud to swing from, one to the other, with legs swinging like a pendulum.

Then my dog started crying because he was left alone at the gate and as far as he was concerned, needed me right in that moment. So I went back to him to release him from the fence.

My daughter climbed up on a platform that shakes from side to side and reached for a bar that moves from high to low as you hold onto it. I watched as she reached for it and lost her footing and landed in a splits position on the ground. She was able to walk to me crying and needing a hug.

She walked home with me and the dog in discomfort and we checked with the local doctor about whether we needed to go for more help. My heart started to race as after two times in an ambulance with her, I get a bit jumpy when she’s ill. All was O.K. and I was reassured by my father in law that after eighty years of seeing people with strains and pains, he thought she was going to be O.K..

So what did I learn?

Well I can’t be in two places at once.

My dog was not getting a proper walk, just a ‘sit beside the park,’ and my daughter was not getting to spend time with me in the park but instead was in the park with me and the dog watching from outside.

Even if things seem to be time-saving and energy-saving, generally it’s best to be fully present to one task and do that well and fully and with all of your love and attention.

[Tweet “The less life is like a plate spinning act, the more centred and enjoyable it can be.”]