How to live with your eyes open
I have no greater fear than to think that I am just living, just moving through the days. I think we all want a richer, more involved brighter life, a life worthy of High Definition film, not just black and white. I used to dream of living in all of the different countries of the world, sampling the foods, hiking the backcountry and sitting in cafes chatting with locals. Actually, I still dream of this, and I am working to make it happen, someday. But until that day I refuse to live the “some day I will achieve my goal kind of life”, where everything is on hold until, fill in the blank with whatever dream you have, until that moment arrives. I want a rich and full life right now, now while I have a kid at home, a fledgling business and bills stacking up on my desk. I want joy right now, while my husband needs me to run errands for him, and my daughter has to have a scientific calculator today, and the dog is looking outside and whining. Is that possible?
Joy is a choice, happiness is a choice, and it is my choice. I understand that we have phases in our life, times where our choices are more limited. We go through times of sickness, and trials and sufferings. I am not making light of these, but for those of us in the regular day-to-day ritual of life, we have the choice of happiness, and today I choose to be happy, and to live a full life.
This post is about a small exercise that I plan to do all week to open my eyes to the beauty and fullness of life around me. The idea is not original with me; I found it in a self-help book that I have been reading while home sick all this week. Why don’t you join me in this small exercise, and let me know in the comments section if and how this activity opened your eyes to the world around you.
Here is the activity; it is as simple as can be. While you are going through the routine of your day, driving to work, getting kids ready for school, answering emails and walking the dog, pay attention to the world around you. Look at its beauty, its colors and smells, and don’t ignore the ugly side. Look at the world, but pay attention with one sense at a time. All day Monday notice color, light, the senses of the eyes. See the colors of the clouds as you drive around town. Notice the color of your kid’s eyes, and the contrast of the colors of the food you set out on your plate. On Tuesday choose a different sense, maybe hearing, and listen to the day, the music of the rain falling outside your window, and the frogs chirping as you turn off the lights for bed. The next day could be smells, my favorite. Can you recognize the smell of freshly mowed grass, or the smell just before it rains? The next day could be touch, texture. I guarantee you will see the world around you with fresher eyes, and ears, and nose.
Such a small activity could enhance your daily enjoyment, and help you to notice more. It is my belief that we were meant to fully participate in life, to be aware, and able to enjoy the gifts of the world. Also we may see things that are not so pretty, and perhaps we will be ready to step up, and make a difference.
I am looking forward to the week, to a more enhanced living. I hope you enjoy this as much as I hope to, and I truly hope you and I will see, observe things that need to be changed. Step up, make a difference, and enjoy your day!