A zen monk once said: When you stir the soup, stir the soup. When you wash your hands, wash your hands. When you listen to your friend, listen to your friend.
So often our minds wander among a variety of thoughts, most of which are about things not directly in front of us. We are stirring the soup with our hands but our minds are a million miles away, pondering the past, the future, the To-Do List.
Today I absent-mindedly kissed Tom good-bye before I headed out the door and he turned back to eating his lunch. There was some place I had to be, so I left. Then I remembered, when you stir the soup, stir the soup. I turned around on the walkway to the car and headed back to the house. I found Tom. I told him about stirring the soup.
"I kissed you, but I didn't really kiss you. I was thinking about all that I was about to do and all that I have to do later."
And it felt very very good. Each of our faces genuinely smiled with contentment. A moment realized.
From now on I hope to remember to stir the soup when I'm stirring the soup, to wash my hands when I'm washing my hands, to listen to my friend when I'm listening to my friend, and to kiss my husband when I'm kissing my husband.
It can only make life more peaceful, more meaningful, and much more pleasant.
Stir the soup!