When you look out the window and watch the birds at a feeder or perhaps gathering nesting materials, do you see what is before you, or do you look past it while you contemplate the next thing on your to-do list, perhaps even reminded of all you have to get done by the busy movements of the birds? Do you let yourself take a few moments to watch them work as they gather seeds then fly to a nearby branch to break it open? Do you try to identify what species are present, listen to their songs, or feel the breeze on your face if you are able to have your window open? Or do you just say to yourself that you don’t have time for things like birds because your life is so overwhelmingly busy?
Practicing presence can be quick, yet is also powerful to our mental health; always living in the past or worrying about the future causes us to miss the life that we are living in the now, and leaves us dissatisfied as a result. Acknowledging what is around you, especially if you put all five of your senses to work at once, can make you feel significant and small, connected and yet an individual. Take the time today to just stop and be where you are.
“When you take your attention into the present moment, a certain alertness arises. You become more conscious of what’s around you, but also, strangely, a sense of presence that is both within and without.”
Writing prompt: Take 1-5 minutes and describe in detail all that you notice about your surroundings by using each of your five senses. Don’t forget to link back!