Life is busy, and it is hard to be aware and in the present. Our minds regularly think about work and life and what we have to do. We have cell phones to keep us entertained, to communicate, and to see what everyone else is up to on social media. And we have ear buds to always have music in our ears if we want.
With so much going on in our heads, around our heads, and in our lives, it can be challenging to use our senses and be in the moment. But, when we open ourselves up to what is happening right in front of us at this moment, magical things can happen. I got two reminders of this recently.
I tend to work out early in the day, and I love my early morning walks. This time of year, I get the added bonus of seeing the sunrise; in the fall and winter, sunrises are particularly beautiful. Recently, I was walking along the Delaware River watching a lovely sunrise. When I turned around, I realized the sky to the west was even more stunning. The clouds were pink, lit, and vibrant, and the city skyline reflected the rising sun. It was truly spectacular, and it was not where I had my attention or expected the beauty to be.
And the other day, I was working outside in a “streetery” at a coffee shop I love. I was reading a book for a workshop I am creating. I started hearing a noise out of the edge of my awareness, and it sounded like horse hoofs. Now, I am sitting in the street in a busy city, so that didn’t make any sense; however, when I looked up, I saw three beautiful horses being ridden by urban cowboys! It was an amazing moment. They stopped on their ride, and I got to talk to them for a few minutes. I found out it was only the second ride for one of the riders, and I got to pet his horse, Fiona. Not something that happens every day! This was such an exciting and unusual occurrence, and it had me smiling for the rest of the day.
There are so many ways in life now to be distracted. You may hear the word mindfulness and wonder what it means. It simply means to be aware, to be engaged in the present moment. It’s an easy and quick way to help yourself feel more content, calmer, and aware. So, work to find times and places where you are un-distracted. Use your senses- see what you see, hear what you hear, feel what you feel. Smile at someone on the street. Engage in a conversation with someone in a store. Be present and look for the beauty in unexpected places. What you find will surprise and delight you, and it will enrich your life in unexpected ways.