Beauty In Everything
Week 14 of 'The Great Wake Up!'
This week I spent five minutes of each day observing the beauty around me. Again, it is such a simple thing, but so many of us don't do it. It is easy to take it all for granted and to neglect what is right in front of us. We get caught up in other things - the chatter in our head that goes through our 'to do' list for the day, replays a difficult conversation we've just had, or even tries to decide what to eat for dinner that evening. All those things can take us away from the wonder that surrounds us...and the best thing is that I discovered it is everywhere.
I have a ninety minute commute to work each day using public transport. I usually spend that time with my nose buried in a book or aimlessly playing with my phone, but instead I decided to sit back and watch the world outside to see what was there.
It struck me how little I had seen before. There were things that I went past every day which I had never spotted previously. Things that I didn't even know were there - vast open fields, beautiful old buildings, new architecture.
I even found myself noticing the thousands of other commuters in their cars or hurrying along the path and wondering what their story was. Where were they going? Did they enjoy their jobs? What makes them happy? What worries did they have? I started seeing the uniqueness of every individual and thinking about how they came to be where they are - right there, crossing my path. It's fascinating to see where your mind wonders when you open it up and turn it away from thinking about what you need to do and allowing it to simply observe.
I also watched the birds flying past, some in groups, others on their own. I noticed the clouds slowly moving past, changing the look of the sky above us with every second that passed. I saw the trees, some of which were just beginning to blossom signalling that Spring was upon us, and I watched the rain falling against the window, trickling down and reminding me of the unpredictability of the British weather.
My biggest insight this week has been a reminder of how I need to make a conscious effort to remove myself from the internal dialogue that constantly plays out in my head, and to take in what is around me. My internal dialogue often has a negativity bias and is usually worrying about something. Doing this exercise has helped me place my attention on all the beautiful things that surround me, reminding me of all that is good.
I write this as I sit outside in my garden with the sun beaming down on me and the birds singing in the background and again, I am struck by both the simplicity and the power of beauty in normal, everyday things.