What comes to your mind when you think about examining 24 hours of your life?
Perhaps you are already mindful of every action you take during every single day. If you're like me, you probably begin to envision retreat centers or vision quests and, perhaps, start hearing meditative music or smelling candles and campfires. Maybe you even recall working with a therapist or taking a fourth step in a 12-step program. There certainly are numerous possibilities, but I've discovered one in an unexpected way.
You see, I have an irregular heartbeat. I've had it for many years, and have undergone various testing and evaluation to determine its location, cause, and patterns as well as possible treatments. I've seen cardiologists and electro-physiologists as the quest to find a solution continues. Now, after the latest treatment, I'm being reevaluated with a heart monitor that records information from five electrodes attached to my body for 24 hours.
This is not the first of these monitors I've had to wear. I even wore one, once, for a month. However there is something interesting about wearing the 24-hour monitor and keeping a log of activities and symptoms. It makes me more aware of what I'm doing each moment in a very methodical way. Not only do I have to write down what I’m doing throughout the day, but I have to list the time each activity starts and stops as well as how my body reacts to the activity.
What amazes me most is that 24 hours seems like a short span of time within a life; and, yet, it is astonishing how many activities take place in a single day. Even when I spend 8 hours sleeping, it is incredible how much happens in the remaining 16 hours. Rarely, unless monitoring and recording, would I be consciously aware of most of those activities. They just happen automatically as I move though life on auto pilot.
I don't recommend needing to wear a 24-hour heart monitor, but I do encourage you to examine your activities in detail for a single day. I think you'll be surprised.
Do you think you live much of your life on auto pilot?
Are you willing to look at one day in detail?
How will you monitor and record it?
What will you do with the information?