A mindful day. “What does that mean and how can I have one?” You may ask.
To be mindful is to be consciously aware. And believe it or not, most of us walk around day after day asleep, functioning only on autopilot. We act without thinking, say things that we don’t mean, and miss so much of the beauty that surrounds us. We worry about the future, we ruminate about the past, and we have no idea what is really happening in the present. We are stuck in a time machine that exists only in our mind.
In order to have a mindful day, we need to slow down long enough to appreciate the things that we have come to take for granted. The big things, the small things, the people in our lives. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, said, “Familiarity breeds complacency.” I believe this to be true.
We often overlook that which becomes familiar. We assume that it will always be there, and we no longer give it the respect that we gave it when it was new. It may be our relationship. It may be our physical health. It may be something in nature. Everyday miracles are overlooked and lost.
A sense of entitlement replaces gratitude. We come to expect so much without fully appreciating the gifts that lie within us and the treasures that surround us. We get caught up in the minutiae and so often miss the bigger picture.
I challenge you today to open your eyes and really see. Use all of your senses to be mindful. You cannot appreciate something until you notice that it is there. Notice smells, tastes, and the beauty of nature. Notice the kind smile of a stranger, the smell of spring flowers, the sound of your favorite music, the feel of a gentle breeze. Find something positive about everyone you meet. Stop long enough to appreciate the people who are in your life.
Rather than focusing on all of your perceived imperfections, stop long enough to be mindful of what you can do. Can you see? Can you walk? Can you taste? Can you hear? If these things were gone tomorrow, you would miss them. Today I challenge you to notice.
Yes, a mindful day is sure to improve your mood. Don’t wait. What do you see? Are you aware of the endless possibilities?
What is it in your life that has become so familiar that it is difficult to see?
Enjoy your day!
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