Back in my military days, I did a lot of patrolling, whether I was in the infantry or with the Green Berets. Part of being in the woods and out in enemy territory was a procedure that is called stand to.
Stand to occurs at dawn and dusk if you are in a stationary position such as a defense or a patrol base. A half hour prior to dawn and a half hour after dawn would be spent lying in a hasty fighting position behind our weapons at the ready. Listening to the noises around us, not doing anything else. We would do the same thing at dusk, a half hour prior and the half hour after.
The idea is that dawn and dusk are transition times. We had to acclimate to the changes around us. During dawn, it is gradually getting light out. Opposing forces love to attack a dawn. You are normally sleepy at this time. They can use the cover of darkness to move into position, they can use pyrotechnics to blind you and then they can use the new daylight to clean up the objective. Dusk is also a dangerous time. If you aren’t prepared, you can easily be caught not ready in total blackness. The moon hasn’t risen yet and without prepping yourself you might have equipment out, not handy in case of attack.
We used stand to to get ready for either the day or night ahead. We simply observed the darkening or lightening forest around us. The hum of mosquitoes would be in our ears. I would watch the leaves gently blow in the wind. It was a time to calm ourselves, to be a part of the environment we were in. We used stand to to prep our minds and be vigilant in what we knew was a risky part of the day.
You should use stand to
How many times have you driven to work and not even noticed it. Your thoughts were on something the happened the night before or on some meeting that was to occur later on that day. You can think of the drive as a form of stand to.
Too many times we jump from on thing to the next without a transition, a time to adjust ourselves, to get ready. Instead of operating on autopilot, use these transition times to simply observe what is occurring around us. I have a tropical fish tank in my home that I like to use as a transition device. Instead of jumping from one thing to the other, I sit for a few minutes simply observing the fish. It takes me out of the last event and ready to go into the new one with a fresh, open mind.
Take a moment, between what you are doing. Gather your thoughts and observe your own form of stand to.