Remona AlyWednesday 01 August 2018 Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2
My accident prone life
It must be lovely to be likened to a timeless icon like Audrey Hepburn, Queen Rania of Jordan or Frida Kalho – grace, style, talent. But not me – I’ve been likened to Mr Bean on more than one occasion, since I have a reputation for being a little bit accident prone. Aside from walking into glass doors, I’ve super glued my fingers together before having to host a posh event with the Archbishop of Canterbury, I’ve locked my friend in her own house, and dropped an entire bowl of my mum’s chicken curry on the carpet in front of hungry guests.
But most painful of all, was the fateful evening when I had not one, but two suitors about to arrive at my house and I thought it would be a good idea to quickly use an overheated wax strip on my upper lip – during which process some skin was also removed. I spent the evening barely able to make facial expressions, laughing with a constrained ‘hawhawhaw’. Needless to say, I heard back from neither of my potentials.
Mini catastrophes seem to stick to me. And they all have one common factor – me being in a massive rush.
I Speedy Gonzales myself through life, only to realise that not only could disasters be averted and opportunities un-missed, but that taking a moment longer – to breathe, to be aware, to simply be – can change everything.
I remember watching a video of a social experiment where partners, siblings, and strangers looked at each other in silence for a full four minutes. It started with giggles, awkwardness, embarrassment and ended with tears, openness and a beautiful connection between two souls.
It’s amazing what 4 minutes can do, even what 4 seconds can do. The magic of being fully present in a moment can transform an entire existence.
The medieval Persian Muslim poet, Attar of Nishapur, tapped into this when he wrote, “If the eye of the heart is open, in each atom there will be one hundred secrets.”
I seek to open the eye of my heart, so I don’t miss out on the divine gifts that are laid in plain sight. Whether it’s the appreciation of a friend, a stranger, or indeed a taste of my mum’s chicken curry, I’ll seek to slow down and savour the moment of a lifetime.