This morning my family and I woke up early and headed to a local park in Gastonia, North Carolina where there was a short 5K run for cancer scheduled.

I didn’t think about it much at the time, but I woke up and threw on the MindManager T-shirt I received from Mindjet a couple months ago.

Walking it off after the race

My wife and I and our oldest 2 children, Zoe 4 and Corbin 9(yellow shirt above and behind me a bit-just after the end of the race), all ran in the event.

We were standing around after the event awaiting the awards ceremony. 

No awards for us, we were there just for the race, cause and fun.

There was a guy wearing work boots and jeans in the park with the other participants.  There was a band stand playing some seventies disco.

My youngest daughter who had been hanging out with grandma and grandpa, was thinking about dancing but not quite swaying yet.  Mya is 2 years old.  🙂

The guy in jeans and work boots was smoking a cigarette and dancing to the disco.

Now this was an event to raise money and awareness for cancer treatments and cancer survivors, so smoking a cigarette seemed a little out of place bordering on taboo.

The guy may have been a workman, he might have been homeless.  He might have spent the night in the park and called the park home, pleasantly surprised at the celebratory music and free donuts in his living room that morning.

As I sporadically watched the guy dance a bit and looked down to my daughter to see if the mood was taking her too, I thought that the guy dancing in the park possessed an insight that many of the runners for the event had gained and then lost.

We runners had experienced a good time and had lived in the moment of the race.  Then we seemed to lose the moment, even though the memory of the positive feelings lingered with us as we awaited to cheer on the people that had won an award, trophy or medal in recognition that we had all tried hard.

The man dancing and smoking a cigarette was living in the moment however, while the rest of us watched it slip by.  I thought of these things while I was standing there.

I thought momentarily at that moment about the t-shirt I was wearing.  Not just a piece of corporate advertising passed out to spread the message about a product, but also something that represented the achievement of a family that had survived cancer multiple times a decade earlier.

I thought of the book, The Cancer Code.

I thought a bit how mindmapping had changed my perspective on a number of things and how it helped me to capture the moment, the now inside my head on a visual static snap shot on my computer screen.

These days I live in the moment much more than I have for many years.  By mindmapping out my thoughts and plans, experiences and knowledge, I have gained a new found confidence, appreciation and understanding of who I am and where I am going and that enables me to focus on the here and now just a little bit better.

Sometimes, my here and now is online or in a computer screen and that is a bit of a weakness or flaw, but its also an opportunity for me to move on and do better in the future.

All of these thoughts went through my brain in the park today and some of them trickled in the rest of the day.  Clearing out the BS, a kind of neural colon cleanseing like experience.

I think all in all, it helped me recognize something that I had been missing the last couple of weeks.

The shirt, my family, the guy dancing carefree in the park, it all mapped out in my head a clear knowledge or understanding of that particular point in time.

For that point, I was connected to myself and that made the day perfect.