While walking in the park this morning I happened to notice a man ambling along engrossed in a book. Curious as to what was so compelling, I glanced over and saw it was a large book of watercolors. This perplexed and amused me, as the morning was exceptionally beautiful: a rich blue sky punctuated with clouds of all hues and shapes against a landscape of fully leafed out trees. Frankly, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect example of a Spring morning.
As stunning as his impressionistic watercolors were on the page, I wondered how they could compete with what was right in front of him. Of course, he has free will; and, if he truly prefers a book to reality, that’s his prerogative. I just saw an opportunity to enjoy what was right there, right then. It reminded me of how easy it is to be oblivious to what is available in the moment when internal preoccupations are allowed to take center stage. I also remembered many walks when my mind was so cluttered and churning I couldn’t focus on what was right in front of me.
If you find yourself similarly absorbed in your thoughts, obsessions, or worries, take a break to re-ground in the present moment.
Look around you, wherever you are.
Notice the colors, shapes, temperature, sounds, and scents; anything that enables you to be here now.
This moment, this second, is the gift of life. Obliviousness lets it pass by.
Stretch, feel your body.
Take a deep, slow breath, and exhale completely.
You won’t be incarnate forever. Enjoy everything you can right this minute, even if your life is excruciatingly challenging.
The leaves are still green, the sky is still blue, and you’re still breathing. Take comfort in the most elemental things and they will sustain you.
If you aren’t in a place where you can find joy in these simple pleasures, just acknowledging they are there can boost your spirits.
No matter what your state of mind, anything that connects you to all that is will ultimately make you feel more grounded, more secure, and more open to life.
Copyright Nicole S. Urdang