Saturday, March 3, 2012

Stopping And Observing The World We Live In

Birds Outside My Window
Stopping And Observing

Those little things in life that we often miss can bring such joy, peace, and a moment of relaxation to our day. Yet, we so often walk right past them, not even noticing what is playing out before our eyes. It is like going to a symphony, and failing to see the orchestra playing, or visiting some tropical paradise and failing to see the sunsets, coconuts, and palm trees. These moments are all around us for a reason.

Many years ago when I was paralyzed from a conversion disorder, I remember sitting outside all weekend long at the Bridgeway Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was the first chance in weeks and even in years that I could just sit out and observe the world around me. I remember sitting there for many hours just listening, watching, and taking in everything that was there. It was as if I was part of all that was going on.

Seeing the birds fly around or hearing them chirp and talk was music to my ears. The gracefulness of how they moved effortless within the air and wind was breathtaking. Their body moved as if there was no tomorrow and nothing to do in that moment. Seeing the sun shine through the bright blue sky gave me a sense of purpose and desire to rise above my current circumstances. It was as if the sky was the limit that went on for endless miles. The wind on my face, the mild fall temperatures and the rustle through the trees drew me into a deep relaxation.

Most of us go through our days never hearing the birds or the rustle of the wind through the trees. Most of us go through our days failing to notice the little animals that scurry about, or the tiny ant working hard on today's tasks. We often miss the beautiful shaped clouds before us as our mind is focused on anything but the environment that surrounds us.

While everyone undoubtedly lives a very busy and hectic life, if we don't stop to notice the world we live in, we're just hurting our self. We are robbing our existence of truly living in our day. All it takes is a moment to stop and notice everything around us and to feel surrounded by the symphony of life. Stopping to observe allows us to connect with something greater than the stress of our day. It touches us deeply as it connects us to our higher purpose in life.

Try these simple exercises that only take a few moments and see if they don't change your day.

1) When you step outside to go to the car or to walk into your workplace, stop and listen to the birds or sounds around you. What do you hear?  How many different and simple sounds can you identify?

2) Take a 5 minute break during your day and walk outside where you work or live and just feel the sun or wind on your face. Notice the temperature and the air that touches your body.

3) Spend a couple of minutes gazing through your window at the clouds in the sky or the tops of the trees and notice their miniscule movements as they live in their environment.

These are just a few examples of things that you can do, but if you start noticing the world around you, the world you know will change. You will open up to so much more that surrounds your life and gives you strength, inspiration, and relaxation. Life is too short to spend every waking minute submerged in the stresses of our day. Give yourself what you are meant to have by stopping and observing the world you live in.

This morning, I heard the birds talking loudly outside my window and so I went to see what they wanted. Here were many birds gathered together in this tree as if they were having a meeting. I have no idea what they were talking about, but just seeing them up in the tree against the dark cloudy sky, gave me a moment of pause in my day. I snapped the picture which is displayed with this blog post and felt it was necessary to share about stopping and observing the world we live in.

Learn more from my blog post on Breathe, Connect and Find Peace, click this link.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2/27/12 Don Shetterly - use and reprint by permission only

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  1. An excellent post, Don. I love the three exercises you gave and I'll add one more of my own: stop and breathe deeply through your nostrils and REALLY pay attention to the scents around you. I'm amazed at how relaxing this can be - although it helps considerably if there are good smells about ;)

    1. Very good idea for sure! Just taking ourself out of the busy mind chatter and allowing ourself to connect mindfully is a wonderful gift we can give ourselves. Thanks for the reminder as well. (and yes, bad smells...ugh... like sitting in traffic - ewww).






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